Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 9, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 7


Mountain View News Saturday, March 9, 2024 



Our immigration system is widely described as ”broken.” But that does not explain how it 
can disregard upstanding members of the Armenian-American community, allowing their 
cases to fall through the cracks, even after determining a member is fully eligible for the 
lawful permanent residency, or green card, they seek.

The United States Citizen and Immigration Services, known as USCIS, had a backlog of 
4.3 million cases at the end of its fiscal year 2023. The agency, under President Biden and 
Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, has recently reduced that backlog by a welcomed 
15 percent. In another improvement, the government says it is currently taking about 19-20 
months to make a decision on green card approvals, and it decides the cases on a first come, 
first served basis. And yet, the government routinely allows cases to simply fall through the 
cracks to remain forever undecided.

A case in point: Dr. Mikayel Abrahamyan, is a medical doctor from Yerevan, Armenia. 
He is part of a respected family of doctors who have dedicated themselves to caring for the 
poor, the disabled, and the victims of war and natural disasters. Dr. Abrahamyan lives in 
Los Angeles with his U.S. citizen wife, and their two small children, also citizens. They have 
been waiting, not 20 months, but five years for final approval of his green card. He is the kind 
of man this country should be proud to call a resident. His long history of charitable works 
includes creating free medical clinics in impoverished regions of Armenia, and delivering 
free medical care and basic necessities to war orphans – with a hug for good measure. Also a 
musician for social justice, he has performed at, or organized, charity events raising money 
to build accessible playgrounds for disabled children in California, and access to the arts for 
disabled and underprivileged children in Armenia. He is a dedicated husband and father, 
has obeyed all laws and immigration court orders – has never even gotten a parking ticket, 
has no convictions anywhere in the world, and actively creates a positive influence on his 
community. Dr. Abrahamyan and his wife, a graduate of UCLA and an entertainment 
producer, are business owners in Los Angeles. In addition, after earning several certificates 
of achievement in computer coding and algorithms during the pandemic, Dr. Abrahamyan 
is working with investors developing an app to help people access medical care more easily 
and economically. Dr. Abrahamyan and his wife are upstanding and appreciated members 
of the Armenian –American community in Los Angeles, yet they been left unjustifiably 
languishing for five years, awaiting final approval of Dr. Abrahamyan’s green card.

Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, Pontifical Envoy-at-large, of the Armenian Apostolic 
Church knows Dr. Abrahamyan well, and has worked with him to bring medical care and the 
arts to disadvantaged areas. The Archbishop calls Dr. Abrahamyan “a man of impeccable 
credentials who lives, not just speaks, a life of charity, kindness, integrity, caring for the less 
fortunate among us.” The Archbishop recounts how the doctor “has cured people who felt 
no hope, shown orphaned children that there were still people who cared, used his medical 
training, artistry and intellect to put together ways to make life better for people who need 
to be lifted.”

 The US government itself has said exemplary things about Dr. Abrahamyan. They state, 
“You showed great professional character by providing crucial services to extremely needy 
patients.” And they have called him “a positive role model for many.” Using the legal term 
for obtaining a green card, the government has unequivocably confirmed that, “USCIS 
has determined that you are eligible for adjustment of status.” Moreover, the government 
has assured Dr. Abrahamyan that he and his family have provided the government with 
everything they need to make the decision on his green card, assuring the family that 
nothing more is required in order for such decision to be made. And yet, the government 
has still failed to approve his green card, keeping Dr. Abrahamyan and his family in a state 
of anxiety and uncertainty for years and years. It has fallen through the cracks.

During these long years, Mr. Abrahamyan’s wife has been admitted to the emergency room 
while pregnant because she suffered panic attacks over the uncertainty of their family’s 
future. Dr. Abrahamyan, normally a picture calm, has also been diagnosed with a resulting 
stress-induced medical condition. While trying to raise a family and build a normal life 
together, they face the existential question of whether they may continue to build a thriving 
life here in Los Angeles as prominent members of the community. Or, will they be forced to 
leave everything behind and move to a third country where they don’t know the language 
or the culture or have any family? This, due to their fear of moving their young family 
to Armenia after receiving threats when Dr. Abrahamyan spoke out about the corruption 
and undue influence of Russian-backed oligarchs in Armenia. The latter possibility seems 
impossible to imagine, a punishment even, for such respected members of the Armenian-
American community here. The anxiety for this Armenian-American family of not being 
able to truly put down roots, or plan for their future is more than anyone should be expected 
to bear.

Unsurprisingly, the courts have often agreed. Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, 
in a case called Muñoz v. United States, determined it was “beyond the pale” for our 
government to leave a family hanging for years, while USCIS failed to comply with its legal 
obligations regarding decisions on granting residency. The Court ruled that these types of 
extraordinary delays violate a family’s Constitutional due process rights – one of our most 
cherished rights.

Dr. Abrahamyan and his family do not deserve to be treated this way. The Armenian-
American Community doesn’t either. The government needs to approve the green card of 
this man who they have already found to be both “eligible” for his green card, and a “positive 
role model [of] great character” in the community. And let this family live in peace and 


WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Rep. Grace 
F. Napolitano (D-El Monte) voted to final-ize 
$19,566,279 in Community Project Funding which 
she previously secured for the 31st District in the 
2024 spending bills.

"The projects funded with this federal money will 
continue to address the vast needs of my district, 
directly benefiting San Gabriel Valley families and 
businesses,” Napolitano said. “From ensuring a sustainable water supply and improving 
the daily commute for residents, this bill will create good-paying local jobs and help make 
our region healthi-er, safer, and stronger. Thank you to all of my constituents, cities, 
and local stakehold-ers who submitted requests. I am very proud to deliver these critical 
funds to my district.” 

Napolitano championed funding for 14 projects that will directly benefit California’s 31st 
District residents, including:

$5,500,000 for the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority's San Gabriel Basin Res-
toration Fund 

$1,000,000 for the City of West Covina's Cameron Avenue Complete Streets Project 

$1,000,000 for the City of Covina's At-Grade Rail Crossing Safety Improvements 

$500,000 for the City of Industry's East-West Bikeway Project 

$500,000 for the City of Irwindale's Public Library Improvement Project 

$1,000,000 for the City of Azusa's East First Street and Baseline Road Street Improve-
ments Project 

$1,000,000 for the City of Duarte's Fish Canyon Trail Restoration Project 

$850,000 for the City of Glendora's People Movement Phase 2 - Big Dalton Wash Ur-ban 

$850,000 for the City of La Puente's Activity Center 

$850,000 for the City of South El Monte's New Community Facilities in New Temple Park 

$4,116,279 for the Los Angeles County Development Authority’s Norwood Library Fa-
cility Improvement – ADA Barrier Removal Project 

$850,000 for the City of Monrovia's Recreation Park Renovation Project 

$1,050,000 for the City of Baldwin Park's Rehabilitation of Baldwin Park Train Station 

$500,000 for the City of San Dimas' San Dimas Avenue and Puddingstone Drive Bicy-cle 
and Pedestrian Improvement Project 

Napolitano and her fellow House Democrats were successful in removing dangerous, 
extreme House Republican policies from these bills which attempted to make abortion 
illegal everywhere, slash efforts to fight climate change, and threaten our national se-
curity. Instead, these final bipartisan 2024 funding bills will help keep our communities 
safe, fight inflation, and boost our economy. The funding package also includes $1.67 
billion for the following water priorities Napolitano requested for her district and the 
Southern California region:

$140,406,000 for Water Recycling and WaterSMART

$67,000,000 for Moab Waste Cleanup

$787,000,000 for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund

$631,000,000 for the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

$41,000,000 for Sewer and Stormwater grants

$5,400,000 for Water Infrastructure Workforce Development

Taken together, the funding for California’s 31st District and the funding increases for 
critical government programs will continue to grow our local economy and support our 
communities. This legislation now moves to the Senate for approval and is expected to be 
signed into law by President Biden later this week.

What ABOUT the Water in Sierra Madre? 
Chris Cimino shares Sierra Madre’s water history! 
Join us on Wednesday, March 27, 5:30pm at the Hart Park House for an engaging and informative 
presentation on the history of water in Sierra Madre. Our newly retired Director of Public Works, Chris 
Cimino, will share the details with us about everything you wanted to know, and more, concerning the 
history of where our water comes from – past and present – and the sometimes little known battles 
over our liquid gold. 
Admission is free and open to everyone. 
presented by the 
Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society 
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: