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News : Senator McCaskill announces Lauren Gray can STAY in the U.S.A.
Posted by Tom on 2012/8/8 16:50:00 (1067 reads) News by the same author

United States Senator Claire McCaskill, on Wednesday morning, announced that she has successfully worked with the Department of Homeland Security to obtain an exemption allowing Lauren Gray of Trenton to continue to legally stay in the U.S. and also to seek employment. Lauren will receive a two-year renewable deferral while she and her family continue to wait for Green Card Permanent residency in the U.S.

Click here to listen to Wednesday morning's conference call

Click to see original Image in a new window

Lauren Gray (right) outside her family's business, Lakeview Motor Lodge and Restaurant in Trenton, Mo., with her mother, Ali Gray (Photo Credit - Kansas City Star)

The announcement came on the morning of Lauren's 21st birthday, although she admitted to learning of the good news from Senator McCaskill on Tuesday. Confirmation came Wednesday in a fax from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

During a Wednesday morning conference call, Senator McCaskill described discussions with the Department of Homeland Security as "polite", but not moving quickly until she spoke directly with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about two weeks ago.

From the conference call, here is Missouri U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill:

Click here to listen to Claire McCaskill

Senator McCaskill said the work permit should be available for Lauren shortly after paperwork is completed, but it is "approved" and "official". Ali Gray is Lauren's mother, and she spoke of the work done by Senator McCaskill:

Click here to listen to Ali Gray

Senator McCaskill explained the case that was made to the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of Lauren Gray:

Click here to listen to Claire McCaskill

Lauren had planned to fly to England and reside with an aunt if she no longer legally could stay in the United States. Travel plans for July 31st changed because of last week's trip to Washington, DC that included personal meetings with Senators McCaskill and Roy Blunt and staff of various congressmen.

The office of Congressman Sam Graves assisted in scheduling last week's meetings in Washington, and escorted Lauren and Ali Gray, and Lauren's friend Shelby Muff of Trenton, to those various locations. Lauren spoke about her "changing travel plans":

Click here to listen to Lauren Gray

The young woman said she is excited about being able to seek employment in the U.S. as a dancer. She graduated this spring from Stephens College in Columbia with a Bachelor's Degree in dance and a minor in integrated media. She described her feelings upon learning she can legally remain in this country and seek employment:

Click here to listen to Lauren Gray

That is Lauren Gray of Trenton. Lauren's mother, Ali, has expressed appreciation to Senators McCaskill and Blunt, Congressman Graves, and Immigration Attorney Brent Renison of Portland, Oregon for their assistance, and to the public for support shown for the Gray family.

Ian and Ali Gray moved to Trenton from England in 1995 to own and operate the Lakeview Motor Lodge and Restaurant. They have legally resided in the United States under Investor Visa's. Their daughters, Lauren and Gemma, qualified to reside in the United States as "dependents". However, dependency typically expires at age 21.

The family has been on a federal waiting list since 2003 for Green Card Permanent Residency in the United States.

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