Thousands of people would not be eligible for modification of the "punishment law".

In my column this week in La OpiniónI explain who would NOT be eligible to take advantage of the new USCIS proposal to modify the process for applying for a "punishment law" waiver:

Now that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has finally released its proposal to modify the application process for a pardon (waiver) to the "law of punishment", a rigorous process begins to get it passed.

After publishing the details of the proposal in the Federal Register, the public has 60 days to submit comments. Once that period is over, USCIS reviews the comments and publishes a final rule based on those comments.

That is why it is important for everyone to write to USCIS to express their opinion about the proposed law. The deadline to submit your comments is June 1, 2012. To participate, go to this web page:

Please note that this is only a proposal at this time. The changes to ask for forgiveness to the "law of punishment" are not in effect.

Unfortunately, the amendment would only benefit undocumented immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, not permanent residents. Therefore, it is extremely important that you write to the USCIS to request that all eligible family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents be included as well.

You should know that an immediate relative of a citizen would NOT be eligible to apply for a provisional waiver if the person:

- You have an application pending with USCIS for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident.

- It is subject to a final order of deportation or reinstatement of a previous removal order.

- May be declared inadmissible at the time of the consular interview for reasons other than undocumented presence.

- You have already been scheduled for an immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

Other data to know:

- Persons abroad who have already applied for a waiver of the punishment law will not be able to take advantage of the new proposal.

- Individuals who must apply for permission to re-enter the U.S. after being deported from the country are not eligible to apply for a provisional waiver.

- Persons who have obtained a provisional waiver cannot apply for permanent residence in the U.S.

- If your application for a provisional waiver is denied, you may be placed in deportation proceedings.

Consult with an immigration attorney before proceeding with any paperwork.