We've done the preparatory work. All we need is a lawmaker to introduce this Private Bill to Congress
H. R. XXX
For the relief of Bruce William Stewart, Dianne Stewart, Sarah Jane Caitlin Stewart and Michael Bruce Albert Stewart. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
(Lawmaker???) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
________________________________________ A BILL
For the relief of Bruce William Stewart, Dianne Stewart, Sarah Jane Caitlin Stewart and Michael Bruce Albert Stewart.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS FOR BRUCE WILLIAM STEWART, DIANNE STEWART, SARAH JANE CAITLIN STEWART AND MICHAEL BRUCE ALBERT STEWART
(a) In General- Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Bruce William Stewart, Dianne Stewart, Sarah Jane Caitlin Stewart and Michael Bruce Albert Stewart shall each be eligible for issuance of an immigrant visa or for adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence upon filing an application for issuance of an immigrant visa under section 204 of such Act or for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident.
(b) Adjustment of Status- If Bruce William Stewart, Dianne Stewart, Sarah Jane Caitlin Stewart and Michael Bruce Albert Stewart enters the United States before the filing deadline specified in subsection (c), he or she shall be considered to have entered and remained lawfully and shall, if otherwise eligible, be eligible for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act as of the date of the enactment of this Act.
(c) Deadline for Application and Payment of Fees- Subsections (a) and (b) shall apply only if the application for issuance of an immigrant visa or the application for adjustment of status is filed with appropriate fees within 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(d) Reduction of Immigrant Visa Number- Upon the granting of an immigrant visa or permanent residence to Bruce William Stewart, Dianne Stewart, Sarah Jane Caitlin Stewart and Michael Bruce Albert Stewart, the Secretary of State shall instruct the proper officer to reduce by 4, during the current or next following fiscal year, the total number of immigrant visas that are made available to natives of the country of the aliens' birth under section 203(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act or, if applicable, the total number of immigrant visas that are made available to natives of the country of the aliens' birth under section 202(e) of such Act.
(e) Denial of Preferential Immigration Treatment for Certain Relatives- The natural parents, brothers, and sisters of Bruce William Stewart, Dianne Stewart, Sarah Jane Caitlin Stewart and Michael Bruce Albert Stewart shall not, by virtue of such relationship, be accorded any right, privilege, or status under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The following is the (proposed) floor statement which Senator / Representitive ............... entered into the Congressional Record introducing the Private Bill :
"Mr. President, I rise today to offer legislation to provide lawful permanent residence status to Bruce William Stewart, his wife Dianne Stewart, their daughter Sarah Jane Caitlin Stewart and their son Michael Bruce Albert Stewart, South African nationals who have lived in Charlotte North Carolina since 2001.
I have decided to offer legislation on their behalf for three main reasons. Firstly, on humanitarian grounds, because I believe that, without it, this hardworking couple and their two children would endure an immense and unfair hardship. Indeed, without this legislation, this family may not remain a family for much longer. Secondly, on national interest grounds, because I believe that without the work that the Stewart's company is providing to the US Military, American lives will be lost. And thirdly, because of serious inconsistencies in the US-CIS decision-making process.
The Stewart's have worked for years to adjust their status through the appropriate legal channels, only to have their efforts thwarted by the criminal and fraudulent activities of dishonest legal counsel. During 2005 and 2006, the Stewart's immigration lawyer, while retained to act on their behalf in the renewal of their L-visas and in their application for permanent residence, took their money and then repeatedly refused to return their calls or otherwise communicate with them in anyway. Additionally, she repeatedly duped the Stewarts by failing to file crucial immigration documents, for which she had been paid, and then by forging filing receipts and approval notices purportedly from the immigration authorities. In June 2006, the Stewart's lawyer went so far as to issue them with a forged permanent residence approval notice. When their Green-Cards failed to arrive, the Stewarts visited the INS in Charlotte on two separate occasions to inquiry about their Green-Cards, and on two separate occasions the INS in Charlotte confirmed that the receipt number given to the Stewarts by their immigration attorney was a confirmation that permanent residence had been granted and that the INS computers confirmed that permanent residence had been approved for that receipt number. However, in August 2006 they discovered that their Charlotte "immigration attorney", Shante Smith, was a fraud, that she had been preparing and issuing them with forged L-visa renewals and a forged Permanent Residence approval, using valid receipt numbers that were applicable to other petitioner cases, and that they were in fact out-of-status since February 2006 in short, their permanent residence in the United States was no more than a cruel and deceitful sham.
Although the family was stunned and devastated by this discovery, they acted quickly to secure legitimate counsel. After protracted dealings between their new attorney, Christopher Greene, and the US-CIS, their L-visas were reinstated, their out-of-status period condoned and they re-applied for Permanent Residence. At the same time they drew this matter to the attention of the Internal Revenue Services and Immigration & Customs Enforcement, and Dr Stewart was a key witness in these investigations which led to Shante Smith being convicted and sentenced to a period of imprisonment.
Once the legality of their non-resident status had been confirmed by the US-CIS, the Stewarts re-applied for permanent residence, some two and a half years after they had originally applied. In January 2008, exactly 6 years 11 months after their first L-visa had been issued, this application for permanent residence was denied by the Nebraska office of the US-CIS on the grounds that Bruce Stewart's position as a manager / executive of Speed Reading International, while sufficiently "complex" to warrant an L1-visa for 7 years, was insufficiently "complex" to warrant the granting of permanent residence.
On the grounds of this decision not being based on either the facts of the case or on the laws of the United States, the Stewart's attorney appealed this decision back to the Nebraska office of the US-CIS, who in turn elected to refer the appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office in Washington DC.
I might mention here in passing that the ruling of the Nebraska office of the US-CIS ignored the findings of the UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT, in CHU INVESTMENT, INC., a California Corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MICHAEL B. MUKASEY, United States Attorney General; et al., Defendants-Appellees, Case No. 05-56791, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 27851. First, the Director held that (Plaintiff) could not be a manager because the employees he would manage were not professionals. However, the applicable regulations do not limit managers to those who manage professional employees. See 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(1)(1)(ii)(B)(2) (indicating that a manager must supervise and control the work "of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manage an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization)". Second, the Director held that (Plaintiff) could not be a manager or executive because he did menial day-to-day tasks. The regulations clearly state, however, that the applicant's duties need not be solely managerial; the fact that the work also involves non-managerial tasks does not make an applicant ineligible for a visa. See 8 C.F.R. §214.2(1)(1)(ii)(B) (defining "managerial capacity" based on the individual's "primary" responsibilities). In the same way, Dr Stewart has been managing and directing the affairs of the company in South Africa since 1979 and in the United States since 2001, ipso facto evidence of his managerial function.
If our laws found him qualified as an executive for purposes of granting him an L-visa for the past seven years, and in the absence of other laws and regulations defining a different set of standards for an executive applying for permanent residence, he is entitled to expect a continuation of his classification as an executive in his application for permanent residence.
On 2 December 2008, the Administrative Appeals Office dismissed their appeal. In a surprise about-face, the AAO ruled that since the Stewarts are the owners of the foreign parent company in South Africa, they cannot be deemed "employees" of the US subsidiary. Indeed, the AAO contends that the granting of Dr Stewart's L1-visa in 2001, and the repeated extensions in 2002 and 2006 are errors on the part of the USCIS Service Centers. In addition, the AAO refused to examine or consider the evidence previously submitted in support of the Stewart's original petitions for L1 status and refused to examine evidence submitted in support of the Stewart's petitions for extensions to their L1 visa; and in the absence of sufficient evidence, ruled that there is insufficient evidence to prove that Dr Stewart was in fact employed by the foreign parent, notwithstanding the reality that such evidence was submitted to the service center concerned and accepted by the service center in support of a favorable decision on their petition for L1 status.
To compound the confusion as to whether Dr Stewart could or could not be deemed an "employee" of the US entity, the AAO then proceeded to rule, as grounds for dismissal of their appeal, that the US entity was unable to pay to Dr Stewart the proffered wage in his contract of employment with the US entity.
I might mention here in passing that the Administrative Appeals Office was neither asked to adjudicate on the questions as to whether Dr Stewart was correctly or incorrectly granted L1 status, nor whether Dr Stewart may correctly or incorrectly be classified as an employee of the US subsidiary, a C Corporation. The AAO was asked to determine whether the laws of the United States stipulate as to "how complex" a managerial or executive position needs to be in order to be deemed managerial or executive in nature. Instead of ruling on the questions before it, the AAO appears to have elected to reinterpret the definition of the term "employee" and then, based upon this reinterpretation, to rule against a decision of its own Service Centers in 2001, 2002 and 2006.
The Administrative Appeals Office was however willing to grant the Stewarts a 30-day period to file a motion to Reconsider / Reopen this dismissal. The Notice of Motion and some 900 pages of supporting evidence, legal argument and case-law, was filed on December 31, 2008.
However, through a clerical error on the part of their immigration attorney, Christopher Greene, this Motion was filed with the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Washington DC, the office that had issued the denial, instead of the Nebraska Service Center which had referred the case to the AAO. The Administrative Appeals Office returned the submission to immigration attorney Christopher Greene with instructions to file with the Nebraska Service Center. But by the time the submission reached the Nebraska Service Center, the filing was 8 days outside the required 30-day filing deadline. After a period of 18 months, this motion was denied on the basis of the late filing and the merits of the motion were not considered. An appeal against this denial was immediately filed on the grounds that the Petitioner was without fault and that the clerical error was entirely the fault of immigration attorney Christopher Greene. After a further period of 12 months this appeal was again denied in July 2011 on the basis of the 8-day late submission in 2009.
While the Stewarts now have the legal right to pursue their case back to the US-CIS, their visas are about to expire and they are on the verge of becoming "overstays". The reality is thus that they need to remain in the United States to continue the pursuit of legal remedies to their situation, to which they, as legal tax-payers, are entitled, and indeed to maintain their business affairs, contractual obligations and the education of their children. However, once they become "overstays", they are subject to deportation and the loss of everything they have invested in this country, and indeed to the additional forfeiture of any benefit which may derive from a favorable resolution to their immigration case.
The uniqueness of the Stewart's case lies in the fact that they are victims of a most heinous crime perpetrated by one of our own citizens the abuse of their trust in our own legal and immigration system. The Stewarts placed their trust in what they believed to be an American Immigration Attorney who presented glowing testimonials, legal and accounting qualifications, endorsements from the Better Business Bureau and promises to fairly & responsibly act on their behalf. Instead, she delivered lies, deceit, fraud, theft and broken promises. Indeed, this advice included instructions on how to best manage their South African and US business affairs in order to remain within the letter and spirit of the laws of the United States, advice which has proved to be erroneous and with consequences now deemed by the US-CIS to be prejudicial to their case. The reality is that the predicament that the Stewarts now find themselves in, may be directly attributed to the conduct and advice provided to them by this attorney, who, as is now known, is neither an attorney nor an accountant and who is now a conficted felon.
But for the criminal conduct of their bogus attorney, the Stewart family would have had their case for permanent residence adjudicated back in 2006, giving them more than sufficient time to resolve their case through the proper channels afforded by the US-CIS regulations and within the 7-year lifespan of their L-visas. It is as a direct result of the deceitful and fraudulent conduct of one of our citizens, posing as an immigration lawyer and breaking our laws in order to prey on unsuspecting guests of this country, that this family now finds itself in a position where they have run out of time and are now effectively being denied the legal recourse to which they, as legal non-resident aliens, are entitled.
For several reasons, it would be tragic for this family to be forced to leave the United States.
First, since arriving in the United States in 2001, Dr. and Mrs. Stewart have proven themselves to be a responsible and civic-minded couple who share our American values of hard work, dedication to family and devotion to community and country.
Second, Dr Stewart has a law degree and a Doctorate in Education, is an advanced reading, comprehension & information management skills coach and has been employed by Speed Reading International, as president of the company, for the past ten years in the United States and previously by the parent company in South Africa for 25 years. He has been gainfully employed at Speed Reading International USA for the past 10 years, where his dedication and willingness to promote the advancement of reading skills, often without financial reward, has earned him countless accolades and the reputation of being "the foremost authority on speed reading and advanced reading skills in the world". At the same time, Dr Stewart designed an appropriate course and offers free training in advanced reading and comprehension skills to needy & under-privileged students at schools in Charlotte NC. Friends and clients who have written to me praising Dr. Stewart's work have referred to him as 'gifted,' 'trusted,' 'honest' and 'reliable.'
Under his management, Speed Reading International USA grew from strength to strength and secured client training assignments with leading US organizations, including The World Bank, Microsoft, Credit Suisse, Visa, Capital One, AARP, Bank of America, Transamerica, Wachovia, Babcock & Wilcox, the South Western School District of Illinois, Darden Business School at University of Virginia, Kenan Flagler Business School of University of North Carolina, McDonough Business School of Georgetown University, the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, GA Tech, GA State Robinson College of Business and the Honors Students of the University of North Carolina.
Following upon Congressional concern over failures and delays in the analysis of military intelligence, Dr Stewart designed the ExecuRead for Military Intelligence Professions training program, an information management training program to enhance the assimilation, processing and analysis of military intelligence. This training is now provided to :
• USAF Pentagon
• 1st Marine Expeditionary Force 1st Intelligence Battalion, United States Marine Corps, Camp Pendleton
• 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force 2nd Intelligence Battalion, United States Marine Corps, Camp Lejeune
• 1st Marine Expeditionary Force 1st Radio Battalion, United States Marine Corps, Camp Pendleton
• Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, Quantico VA
• Defense Logistics Agency
• Defense Intelligence Agency
• Naval Special Warfare Development Group (SEALs)
• US Air Force Robins AFB
• US Coast Guard
• US Army
• Marine Corps Intelligence Schools, VA Beach (now a curriculum subject)
• Navy & Marine Corps Intelligence Training Centre, VA Beach
• USMC HQ Intel, Quantico
• 1st Force Recon, 1 MEF
Courses are in the planning phase for
• 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, 3rd Intelligence Battalion, United States Marine Corps, Okinawa, Japan
• Space Intelligence Office, Pentagon
• Missile Defense Agency, Pentagon
The United States Marine Corps has declared this training to be "essential" to the Marine Corps and that "any delay or interruption in the supply of this training would be to the detriment of the analytic capabilities of the United States Marine Corps." USMC Captain David Bain wrote that "I can say without a doubt that Bruce and his company provide a crucial training aid and skill to the Marines of 2nd Intelligence Battalion, which led to Marines lives being saved on the battlefield." A Brigadier General at the Pentagon described this training as "the most important professional development I've had in years." Laura Crawley, Ph.D., Director, Executive MBA Program, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University declared "Your training has become indispensable to our students" and Lynne Chism, a high school principal in IL declared Bruce's training to be "one of the most useful training courses I've ever taken, and which increased my son's ACT score by 25 percent and won him a scholarship." At the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, this training has proved to be so impactful that the training is now mandatory for all medical school freshmen. At the conclusion of this training course at 1st Intelligence Battalion 1 Marine Expeditionary Force Camp Pendleton, the Warrant Officers presented Bruce Stewart with a 0205 Tactical Intelligence Officer "Plank" for his "contribution to the enhancement of the intelligence analysis capabilities of the USMC".
Like her husband, Mrs. Stewart has distinguished herself as a public relations and marketing specialist and devotes considerable time to supporting community activities. She started the "South African's in Charlotte" Club which aims to build cultural understanding between new arrivals from South Africa and their USA hosts. At the same time, the Arts and Sciences Council of Mecklenburg County asked Dianne to plan, set-up and manage the "South by South Africa Crafting Cultural Understanding" Project a multi-disciplinary project between the South African Government's Department of Arts & Sciences, the NC Arts & Sciences Council, the Levine Museum of the New South, the African American Cultural Center, Winthrop University, the Knight Foundation and others aimed at fostering communication and understanding between the ethnic races of America. Dianne also volunteers her time and expertise to fund-raising for The Charlotte Symphony, Opera Carolina, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Carolina International School and Charlotte Country Day School and was appointed Board Chair of the Epic Arts Repertory Theatre. In 2008 she was appointed to co-ordinate the 2009 Oscar Night America event in Charlotte NC, a fund-raising benefit for The Charlotte Symphony and the 2010 Oscar Night America event in Charlotte NC to benefit United Family Services. Since 2008 she has volunteered her public relations and marketing expertise to promote the Friends of Music concerts at Queens University in Charlotte NC. Upon the appointment of Christopher Warren-Green to the position of Music Director of the Charlotte Symphony, Dianne volunteered to handle his entire relocation from the UK to Charlotte. This proved to be a major promotional boost for Charlotte NC and the Charlotte Symphony with Christopher Warren-Green's appointment, by the British Royal Family, to prepare and conduct the musical arrangement for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April 2011. Most recently she volunteered to co-ordinate the Christ Church of Oxford England Boy's Choir Tour to the USA and its fund-raising concerts in Charlotte NC, Washington DC, New York, Boston MA and Toronto Canada.
Those who have written to me in support of Mrs. Stewart, of which there are several, have described her work as 'responsible,' 'efficient,' and 'compassionate.' In fact, Linda Griffith wrote that "Dianne has thrown herself, her energies and her communication skills into the local community at every level. She is a whirlwind of energy focused on contributing at every level, be it in a personal or corporate capacity. Her long list of worthy accolades is quite enough to highlight her value to the country, let alone the local community. Their children are a credit to their parenting, and like their parents are involved at many levels within their school communities and extra-curricularly."
Additionally, Dianne has been described as "a Public Relations maven, always willing to assist fledgling businesses pro bono with their PR needs." Steven Caliendo, a decorated Vietnam Veteran in Charlotte wrote "I have known the Stewart's since 2004 and consider them good friends and the kind of legal immigrants that America needs to continue our long tradition of welcoming all the peoples of the world to our shores regardless of race, color, or creed! As a son of immigrants myself, and a decorated Vietnam vet, who fought for my country so that good people like the Stewarts can be given the chance to be Americans, I consider the termination of their right to become Americans as a slap in the face of all who came before them. They are contributing members of our society who more then ever wish to become American citizens along with their children."
Gary & Robbie Arvidson of Kings Mountain, NC wrote "We have known the Stewarts for over five years and find them to be highly ethical people. They are warm, friendly, and hospitable. They take time to care for the needs of others. We can attest to the fact that by living and working here in America, they are a positive asset to our nation, state of North Carolina, and city of Charlotte."
Darlene Gibson, a manager at AGDATA wrote "I am a single mother, and my son's father lives in Texas. The Stewarts are personal friends of my family. They help me with my son as their son and mine are best of friends and have been for years. They are the most positive influence on my son, and provide for him a happy and well-balanced family influence that a child from a divorce situation could have. They take care of him when I have to travel for my company. Dr. Stewart is his baseball coach and makes sure that John can get to the games and to practice."
Together, Dr. and Mrs. Stewart have used their professional successes to realize many of the goals dreamed of by all Americans. They manage and operate a successful and growing company. They saved up and bought a home. They own their cars, debt-free. They have good health care benefits and they each have begun saving for retirement. They want to send their children to college and give them an even better life.
This legislation is important because it would preserve these achievements and ensure that Dr. and Mrs. Stewart will be able to make substantive contributions to the community in the future. It is important, also, because of the positive impact it will have on the couple's children, both of whom have spent a substantive part of their lives in the United States, see America as being their home and both of whom are well on their way to becoming productive members of the Charlotte community.
Sarah, 22, the Stewart's oldest child, is a graduate of the International Baccalaureate Program at Myers Park High School and currently a 4.0gpa Junior at Greensboro College doing a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with emphasis in Directing & Stage Management. She is a National Honor Thespian with the International Thespian Society and has expanded her extra-curricular activities by continuing her training as an operatic mezzo-soprano, served fours years with the Charlotte Children's Choir, three years with the Myers Park Chamber Women's Choir and participated as a second-soprano with the Mars Hill Choral Festival.
Michael, 17, the Stewart's youngest child, is a junior at Providence High School. With his strong math, science and reading skills, and with his sights set on a science degree at MIT or CalTech, he continues to improve his 4.0gpa straight-A school performance and has been identified as a gifted student by the Duke Talent Identification Program. He is an ardent sports-fan and plays football, baseball and basketball for his church community center.
Removing Dr. and Mrs. Stewart from the United States would be tragic for their children. Children who have lived most of their lives in the United States and who through no fault of their own have been thrust into a situation that has the potential to dramatically alter their lives. They are old enough to understand that they face leaving their schools, their teachers, their friends and their home. They would leave everything that is familiar to them. Their parents would find themselves in South Africa with reduced employment prospects and without a home. The children would have to acclimate to a different culture, a language they have never spoken and way of life rated as one of the most dangerous in the world. Indeed, South Africa has been described as the next genocide in Africa.
As I have said, the Stewart's case is unique in a number of aspects. They are victims of a most heinous crime perpetrated by one of our own citizens the abuse of their trust in our own legal and immigration system. The Stewarts placed their trust in what they believed to be an American Immigration Attorney who presented glowing testimonials, legal and accounting qualifications, endorsements from the Better Business Bureau and promises to fairly & responsibly act on their behalf. Instead, she delivered lies, deceit, fraud, theft and broken promises. Indeed, this advice included instructions on how to best manage their South African and US business affairs in order to remain within the letter and spirit of the laws of the United States, advice which has proved to be erroneous and with consequences now deemed by the US-CIS to be prejudicial to their case. The reality is that the predicament that the Stewarts now find themselves in, may be directly attributed to the conduct and advice provided to them by this attorney, who, as is now known, is neither an attorney nor an accountant. And while the Stewarts are reaping the results of this bogus advice and conduct, the "attorney" continues to ply her fraudulent trade on main street until such time as the IRS, US-CIS, ICE and the NCA of CPA complete their investigations and bring this fraudster to book on both state and federal charges.
It is also interesting to note that while virtually every Permanent Residence Private Bill, that I have come across, is to grant permanent residents to ILLEGAL immigrants, this petition is for the Stewarts to REMAIN in legal status. It should not be overlooked that the Stewarts came to this country, legally, 10 years ago, they have remained here legally in spite of great emotional and financial hardship, and they have demonstrated a noteworthy intent to comply with the laws of this country.
A further unique aspect to the Stewart's case lies in the fact that while most petitions for a Permanent Residence Private Bill are for the benefit of the beneficiaries, in this particular case a substantial benefit will also accrue to the United States Military. Indeed, by the admission of a number of serving US Military officers, the training being provided by the Stewart's company is saving lives on the battlefields of three theaters of war. By implication, the passing of this Private Bill will not only benefit the Stewarts but also an unknown number of American Military Soldiers. Personally, I do not recall any similar instance where a foreigner has sought a Permanent Residence Private Bill to save American lives a further unique aspect to this case and to the selfless dedication of this family to contribute to their new homeland.
Many of the words I have used to describe Dr. and Mrs. Stewart are not my own. They are the words of the Americans who live and work with the Stewart family day in and day out and who find them to embody the American spirit of patriotism and service. I have sponsored this legislation, and asked my colleagues to support it, because I believe that this is a spirit that we must nurture wherever we can find it. Forcing the Stewart family to leave the United States would extinguish that spirit. It is my hope that Congress passes this private legislation."