Are we the kind of family America wants here? We have not once asked what America can do for us, but what we can do for America.
The Stewart's are legal immigrants to the US, completely self-sufficient financially, manage their own businesses, own property and pay all their taxes and have never received any social services or other government support whatsoever, and yet, after 13 years living in the USA, they are still waiting for Permanent Residence.
Follow-up on the news story that broke in October / November 2011
The following item, prepared by Morgan Fogarty, was aired on
Fox Charlotte's "News @ 10" on Sunday February 5, 2012 [2 minutes]
Fox News Channel (National and International) aired on Thursday, November 3, 2011
by Heather Childers [2 minutes]
"The Fox News Channel broadcast regarding your situation didn't do justice to your value to our nation's military and intelligence services. I hope that we will not have to experience the loss of your expert instruction and the skills which it brings."
Semper Fidelis, M.M. USMC ... More
The following item, prepared by Morgan Fogarty, was aired on
Fox Charlotte's "News @ 10" on Thursday 6 October 2011 [2 minutes]
Dianne Stewart also appeared on Mike Collins' show "Charlotte Now" on Charlotte CW WJZY on Sunday 9 October 2011 [23 minutes]
Dianne & Bruce Stewart on Mike Collins' radio show "Charlotte Talks"
on WFAE 90.7fm on Wednesday 12 October 2011 [24 minutes]
"The U.S. has become the "laughing stock of the world" because of policies that force highly-skilled immigrants to leave the country."
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the US Chamber of Commerce,
September 28, 2011.
"Immigration policy should be generous; it should be fair; it should be flexible. With such a policy we can turn to the world, and to our own past, with clean hands and a clear conscience." John F Kennedy : from 'A Nation of Immigrants,' 1968.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson.
Bruce and Dianne have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our hundreds of friends and colleagues and wish to thank everyone for their ongoing commitment of time, letters to politicians, emails, faxes, love, prayers and assistance in this matter. We are incredibly grateful to all concerned for their help in this difficult matter.
Why is America trying to get rid of us?
September 26, 2011 UPDATE : Just 10 weeks before the last of our visas expire on 12/05/2011, the USCIS has denied the last of our petitions for permanent residence. There are no other visas available to us. For further information ....
May 2011 UPDATE : With just months before our visas finally expire on 5 December 2011, at which time we either become "illegal" overstays in the USA, or we close our business, abandon our home, drag our children out of university and high school just 2 years before graduation, and leave the USA forever, we are attempting an extraordinary solution to our predicament - a Private Bill of Congress to grant us Permanent Residence.
January 2009 UPDATE : After living legally in the USA since July 2001, our application for Permanent Residence was "granted" in 2006 ... our joy ended when we discovered that our US Immigration "attorney" who had "applied" for our Permanent Residence was a crooked con-artist who had forged our approval notice, stolen our money and left us out-of-status. Senator Richard Burr and his staff members resolved the issue of our lapse in Visa Status with the US CIS in Vermont in early 2007.
This allowed us to apply for an adjustment of status from Non-Imigrant to Immigrant Status as well as to apply for Permanent Residence. This was applied for in March 2007, denied in January 2008, appealed in January 2008, referred to the Administrative Appeals Office of the US-CIS in March 2008, dismissed in December 2008 and re-appealed with a 900-page appeal brief in January 2009. In dismissing the appeal, the AAO ruled, inter alia, that the US-CIS erred in granting us an L1-visa in 2001, and all the renewals since then. Basically, in denying our permanent residence application, the US-CIS Service Center in Nebraska ruled that my job as president of Speed Reading International was not "complex" enough to be classified as an executive (although I have managed and operated this business for 33 years). Then in dismissing our appeal against this decision, the AAO ruled that since I own the parent company in South Africa, I cannot be an employee of the subsidiary company in the USA -- as I cannot be dismissed -- and thus I should never have been given an L1 executive-transfer visa in the first place!)
In January 2009 we filed a 900-page appeal brief, documenting every piece of evidence in support of our case and a tome of case-law in support of our arguments. How long we will now have to wait for an adjudication, no-one knows. And to keep us "in status" we've filed an L1-B visa application for Dianne & L2 visa applications for Bruce, Sarah & Michael which were approved in April 2009, so we have some breathing space while we await a decision on our Permanent Residence appeal. *** Latest News on the Case ***
The reasons for the permanent residence denials appear to be arbitrary, capricious and based upon neither the laws of the USA nor the facts of the case. Evidence submitted to one US-CIS service center is not shared with any other US-CIS service center and whatever evidence we do submit is clearly not fully comprehended. Decisions make no sense either to us or to attorneys we are consulting with. Our options are becoming fewer and fewer and we are loathe to break the law by lapsing into an illegal status at any time and cannot accept that inconsequential and incomprehensible decisions by the US-CIS and the AAO will cause us to do so. It simply needs to be resolved by a rational, intelligent and informed person, who has the power to overrule these decisions.
To leave the US is impossible at this point for the following reasons : Our daughter, Sarah is a rising junior, 2 years away from her Greensboro College graduation and our son Michael , a rising junior at Providence High School, also just 2 years away from graduation, is a certified Gifted Child in the CMS program for talented students and is also in the Talent Identification Program (TIP) at Duke Univesity. Both are gifted students who have spent the bulk of their lives in this country and are now more American than South African.