BREAKING: Biden Administration Is Set to Announce One of the Largest Immigration Executive Orders Since DACA

Los Angeles March for Immigrant Rights

In a significant policy shift, President Joe Biden is set to announce new executive actions that will protect an estimated half a million undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens from deportation. This is what’s known.

The plan will provide “parole in place” to undocumented individuals who have been living in the country for at least a decade. It will also open a path for eligible immigrants to apply for legal permanent status and obtain work permits. The plan provides a road to documented status not only for spouses of U.S. citizens but also for their noncitizen minors and stepchildren.

According to a senior White House official who requested anonymity, "These actions will promote family unity and strengthen our economy, providing a significant benefit to the country and helping U.S. citizens and their noncitizen family members stay together," as reported by NPR.

This announcement follows recent executive actions that severely restricted asylum eligibility for most undocumented immigrants. The Biden administration has stressed that while securing the southern border is a priority, so is reforming the immigration system to provide better support for families in America. The Biden administration program will provide two main benefits for immigrants. On one hand, it will allow those eligible to work and live in the country on a legal yet temporary basis. It will also allow immigrants to overcome legal hurdles that keep them from achieving permanent legal status.

Contrary to popular belief, undocumented immigrants cannot simply marry U.S. citizens to obtain legal status. While immigrants who marry U.S. citizens are generally eligible for a green card, it depends on how they entered the country. Those who entered without proper immigration documentation and married a U.S. citizen need to re-enter the country through proper channels to be eligible for a green card. Living in the U.S. after entering without the required immigration documents can lead to a 10-year ban, causing long-term separations for mixed-status families. This is the main reason they don’t go ahead with this process.

The new “parole in place” policy changes that process by allowing eligible immigrants to obtain a green card without having to leave and re-enter the country. After 5 years of being green card holders, they will be able to apply for citizenship. To qualify for "parole in place," undocumented individuals must have been in the U.S. for at least 10 years and married to a U.S. citizen since June 17 or earlier. The plan excludes immigrants who have been previously deported.

According to a communication distributed by the White House, approximately 500,000 undocumented spouses and 50,000 non-citizen stepchildren with a U.S. citizen parent are expected to benefit from this new policy. The Department of Homeland Security will assess each case individually, granting approved individuals three years to apply for permanent residency.

The announcement is set to mark the 12th anniversary of DACA, the program that provides temporary protection to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors. The White House plan includes new provisions for expedited work visas for DACA recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” who have earned degrees from U.S. institutions and have job offers in their fields of study.

While the new plan offers hope to many, it’s expected to face significant legal and political challenges. However, for many immigrant families, especially Latinos, it represents a crucial step toward stability and unity, offering a chance to build a future without the constant fear of separation and the uncertainty that comes with it. In the coming weeks, more information about the application and eligibility process will become available in the Federal Register.

The public is encouraged to rely on the Federal Register as a trustworthy source of information as things develop further and the process is unveiled step-by-step. It’s essential to seek credible sources of information to avoid scams perpetrated by fraudulent lawyers and notaries seeking to profit from the public’s need for guidance with the application process and required paperwork.

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