Efforts made to reach U.S. leaders on behalf of Trenton's Gray family

Date 2012/7/13 10:10:00 | Topic: News

Trenton resident Ali Gray says she has been in contact this week with the offices of Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, and Congressman Sam Graves, concerning her family's residency efforts. The family is on a federal government waiting list for green car permanent residency status. Of most immediate concern is the approaching 21st birthday of the Gray's oldest daughter, Lauren.
As conditions currently exist, when Lauren turns 21, she no longer would qualify to reside in the U.S. as a dependent to her parents. The Gray's moved to Trenton in 1995 on an investment visa to own and operate the Lakeview Motor Lodge and Restaurant.

Of the contacts this week with the offices of Senators Blunt and McCaskill, and Congressman Graves, Ali Gray indicated Senator Blunt's office, thus far, has provided the most assistance:

Click here to listen to Ali Gray

Senator McCaskill, in an interview with the MissouriNet's Bob Priddy, said her office will try and help the family, all it can, within the law:

Click here to listen to Senator Claire McCaskill

Ali Gray contends, based on their watch of movement on the "waiting list", the list is NOT progressing in order:

Click here to listen to Ali Gray

Ali Gray explained an application for green card permanent residency was made in 2003 and approved in 2009. However, she indicated the counting period should revert back to 2003. The family is still waiting to receive its permanent residency status.

She said the family has continued to be in the U.S. legally, partly through what is called an "I-94 Form".

Lauren Gray is seeking public support from an online petition calling for legal immigrants, like her, to qualify for the Dream Act so she can stay in this country while she waits for her residency to be approved. There have been around 2,000 signatures. The website is www.change.org.

The city of Trenton will be sending invitations to Senator Blunt, Senator McCaskill, Congressman Graves, State Representative Casey Guernsey, State Senator Brad Lager, and President Barack Obama asking them to attend the next City Council meeting on Monday, July 23rd.

Trenton Mayor Nick McHargue made the suggestion during Thursday's Trenton City Council meeting, during which the council gave its support to sending the invites.

The political figures, or their representatives, are to be invited to meet with the council regarding the problems that the Gray family have experienced in seeking permanent residency in the United States.

Mayor McHargue told PAR Broadcasting the invitations are a way to show community support for the family:

Click here to listen Trenton Mayor Nick McHargue

The discussion about the Gray's situation will be open to the general public:

Click here to listen Trenton Mayor Nick McHargue

The Trenton Mayor said he realizes that President Obama will likely not attend, but he will get an invitation anyway:

Click here to listen Trenton Mayor Nick McHargue

Dr. McHargue told PAR Broadcasting that he does not believe "scientists who helped win World War Two would have been in this country if our current immigration laws were in place then".

Attending Thursday's Trenton City Council meeting were Ali Gray and her parents, Colin and Nora Withers, all of Trenton. Colin Withers gave thanks for the support the family has received. He added that there has been "an amazing amount of support from throughout the area". Ali expressed her agreement with those remarks.



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