Define American
Bruce Stewart

Dianne Stewart

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Dianne  Stewart, APR
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The Stewart family came here in 2001 to open a specialist reading and information management company whose clients include US Military Intelligence Agencies, Universities, Schools and Business organizations;  All legal avenues to secure permanent residence have been exhausted by them; they are now being turned away with the possibility of their children's education being destroyed and losing everything they have built up here as well as placing US Military lives at risk. Is this the American Way?

Charlotte, NC, September 27, 2011   After 10 years of living legally in the United States, the US CIS has determined that the Stewart family do not qualify for permanent residence and will have to abandon everything they brought to this country and everything they have built up here, when their visas expire in early December 2011.

"The reasons for these denial decisions are beyond comprehension" says Dr Bruce Stewart, president of Speed Reading International, Inc., d/b/a ExecuRead, "I am a lawyer by profession and have spent the past 10 years studying the US immigration laws and regulations and I have a team of US Immigration lawyers working with me. We are all equally confounded by the arguments raised by the US CIS which are arbitrary, spurious, discriminatory and inconsistent. To demonstrate this, for the past 10 years and in the approval of no less than seven affirmative considerations of my L1 visa petitions, the US CIS deemed me to be a multinational manager, employed as a manager by both the foreign and local entities which enjoyed a qualifying relationship. Yet in the adjudication of my permanent residence petition, the US CIS now considers itself not bound by its previous decisions and rules, variously that I am not a manager, that there is no qualifying relationship between my overseas and US companies, and that my job is not complex enough to be deemed a manager. They also opined recently that perhaps we should never have been given these visas in the first place, thus admitting in writing, that we have been mislead and deceived for the past 10 years."

"With a successful 25-year track-record of running an international executive-level advanced reading skills and information management company, we decided to open a branch in the USA to handle our North American operations. With almost $400,000 in set-up capital, we petitioned the US CIS for L1 multinational managerial visas which were approved without question" says Dr Stewart, "On the strength of these visas, we brought our investment to the USA, set up a business, bought a home and enrolled our two children in the American educational system. And we secured training contracts with the US Military (the Pentagon, NASA, the Naval Special Warfare Development Groups, Navy SEALs, US Air Force and the intelligence battalions of the US Marine Corps.) We acquired corporate contracts with organizations such as The World Bank, Credit Suisse, Microsoft, Visa and Babcock & Wilcox and university contracts with GA State, GA Tech, UNC, Lincoln Memorial, UVA, Chicago Booth and others. We operated a business that was open 24/7. A business that within 10 years became one of the most sought-after suppliers for advanced reading, comprehension and information management training skills. At the Pentagon, a Brigadier General described his training as "the most important professional development I've had in years." Laura Crawley, Ph.D., Director of the Executive MBA Program, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University declared that "Dr Stewart's training has become indispensable to our students" and Lynne Chism, a high school principal in IL declared Dr Stewart'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 became mandatory for all medical school freshmen.

If the Stewarts are forced to close down their business, the US Marine Corps has written to say 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." The words "to the detriment of the analytic capabilities" quite simply means that people will die. And yet this is still not compelling enough for the US CIS to grant permanent residence.

Says Stewart, "Also at stake, is the future of our children who have spent the past 10 years, legally, in the American educational system. Sarah is now a junior at university and Michael is a junior at high school. They are both 4-plus gpa students. At what cost do we drag them to another country and expect them to pick up the pieces of their educational future? All because the US CIS allowed us to come to the United States in 2001, essentially under false pretences, and to allow us to stay legally for 10 years. The years of anxiety and distress this has caused our family is incalculable"

"This is not a case of someone trying to get into this country illegally. But rather a case of someone trying to stay in this country legally. I've written to President Barack Obama and First Lady Obama. I've written to Vice-President Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden. No reply from either. I've also written to the Speaker of the House and the Secretary of State, to the Cabinet Members and to every US Senator and every member of Congress. While most have ignored me,  a few were kind enough to extend their condolences at our situation and refer us to our NC US Senators - Richard Burr R-NC  and Kay Hagan D-NC. Richard Burr says he cannot help us - that there is nothing he can do. The bottom line is that fixing a broken and inhumane immigration system is no more than an emotional political soap-box with loads of sizzle and very little steak."

"Perhaps there is some rationality in the minds of those millions of illegal immigrants who have perhaps decided not to attempt to do this legally. In my case I would have saved over $100,000 in legal and filing fees, thousands of hours in preparing submissions and I would now be well-below the immigration radar. Alternatively I would almost certainly have had Canadian Citizenship by now. We turned down Canada to come to the US as our country of choice, admiring everything about the nation and its foundation of democracy. My family members who have moved with globalization trends to Australia, the UK, Sweden and New Zealand, all have citizenship of their respective country's now, except us. With every visa door now closed to my family and my company, the only remaining option is a legislative solution on humanitarian and national interest grounds."

"Senator Kay Hagan, D-NC, has been the one shining light in this world of darkness. She and her staff have shown interest in our case and have helped to expedite decisions from the US CIS, albeit all unfavorable decisions. Now the moment of stepping up to the plate has come - Will a lawmaker be willing to do everything in their power to gain permanent residence for us and introduce legislation for a Private Bill of Congress to right this wrong.

Are we the kind of family Americans want here or do we pack up our business, expertise, volunteer activities and children and go back to a country we have not seen in 10 years and which is totally foreign to our children?


Postscript : Following upon this release, on 18 November 2011, Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC) introduced Private Bill H.R.3505 to grant Permanent Residence to the Stewart Family. This Bill has now stalled in the House Judiciary Committee under Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX)