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Obama plans change in immigration rule on waivers
Obama administration plans change for some immigrants applying for legal status
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Obama administration has proposed to change a rule to reduce the time illegal immigrant spouses and children are separated from their American relatives while they try to gain legal status in the United States.

Currently, many illegal immigrants must leave the country before they can ask the government to waive a three- to 10-year ban on coming back.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday the change would let children and spouses ask the government to decide on a waiver request before they head to their home countries to apply for visas to return.

Mayorkas says the change would reduce family separations to days or weeks, from months.

Congressional Republicans have repeatedly criticized the administration for making policy changes they describe as amnesty to illegal immigrants.

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