New Biden Administration Immigration Executive Order to Keep Families Together

On June 18, 2024, the Biden administration announced a new executive order for immigration that could help married couples living in the United States. This new immigration policy would allow the undocumented spouses and stepchildren of U.S. citizens to apply for “parole in place” and afterwards for lawful permanent residence without having to leave the United States. This streamlined path to lawful immigration status would keep families together and potentially save many years of waiting for a green card.

Through President Biden’s executive order to keep families together, it is estimated that approximately 500,000 undocumented spouses and 50,000 stepchildren under the age of 21 will qualify for parole in place and be granted protection against removal and deportation.

Who Will Qualify for Parole in Place Under the New Immigration Executive Order?

The Biden administration announced details of the requirements to be eligible for immigration benefits under this executive order. Generally, qualifying applicants for parole in place under this executive order need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have resided in the United States since at least June 17, 2014.
  • Have been physically present in the United States on June 17, 2024.
  • Have been legally married to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024.
  • Have been present in the United States without admission or parole.
  • Have not been convicted of any disqualifying crime or offense or constitute a threat to national security or public safety.
  • Merit a favorable exercise of discretion.

How Can the New Immigration Executive Order Help You and Your Family?

The major benefit to being granted parole in place under this new Biden immigration executive order is that a qualifying applicant will be able to stay together in the United States with their family while they apply for permanent residence. Qualifying applicants who are granted parole in place under this executive order will no longer be required to file a provisional unlawful presence waiver, also known as the I-601A waiver. This will potentially save qualifying applicants many years of waiting for a green card and they will no longer have to depart the United States for an immigrant visa interview in their country of origin.

Being granted parole in place will give qualifying applicants protection from deportation and removal for three years. This means that families will no longer have to live in fear of being separated. Qualifying applicants will also be eligible to receive employment authorization during their grant of parole in place.

When Can You Begin Your Application for Parole In Place?

Under the immigration executive order, President Biden ordered the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS to take action and implement this new application process. In the coming weeks, USCIS will publish a Federal Register Notice which will contain the specific application process and requirements, the immigration forms, filing fees, and supporting evidence needed to request parole in place.

Although the application process is not open at this moment, there are steps you can take now to prepare so you are ready to apply on day one. The first thing you can do is consult with an experienced immigration lawyer to review the facts of your case and go over documents that you will need for this application. Some important documents to gather will be your birth certificate, your U.S. citizen spouse’s birth certificate and if they were not born in the United States, either their U.S. passport or certificate of naturalization. Additionally, you will need evidence that you have been physically present in the United States since at least June 17, 2014. The golden standard in immigration law to prove your physical presence is complete copies of your tax returns. Other documents to prove your physical presence can include bank and mortgage statements, school transcripts, and medical records.

Because a grant of parole in place under this executive order will be on a case-by-case basis, meaning that USCIS will use its discretion in approving applications, it is important to gather documents to prove that you are a person that deserves this immigration benefit. These documents can include the school and medical records of immediate U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident family members, family photographs, and letters from your friends and family attesting to your good moral character.

Finally, if you have ever been arrested or detained by law enforcement for any reason, you will need a certified arrest report from the arresting agency. If you have ever been charged or convicted for any offense, you will also need a certified court disposition from the court of law where your case was heard.

Should I Cancel My Current Immigration Process and Wait for Parole In Place?

No. If you currently have a pending application for immigration benefits, you should consult with an immigration attorney before taking any action that can negatively impact the adjudication of your pending application.

It is likely that this executive order will face legal challenges in court and there may be a delay or even be completely blocked from going into effect. Some organizations have already announced that they will file lawsuits to prevent the parole in place program from starting. We have seen several lawsuits to prevent immigration benefits programs from going into full effect, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs. In the case of DAPA, the program was prevented from going into effect due to legal challenges and no one was ever able to apply.

Always Consult with an Experienced Immigration Attorney

New immigration policies can be a very exciting time for many people who have been waiting for good immigration news on green cards and other benefits. The many news and announcements on this immigration executive order from the Biden administration in 2024 will help many people once it is implemented. However, it is also important to be very careful and to protect yourself from immigration scams. Only a licensed attorney can give you legal advice about your case. Do not fall victim to scams or people impersonating government authorities. Do not rely on any legal advice from a non-attorney, including notarios publicos, who are not authorized to practice law in the United States.

Immigration attorney Miguel Heras has more than ten years of experience in immigration law and will carefully guide you through this new parole in place process as the details and requirements are published by USCIS. Please contact our Las Vegas or Reno offices to schedule your consultation so that attorney Miguel Heras can answer all your questions about parole in place.

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