By Attorney Richard Herman

On June 18, 2024, the Biden administration is expected to introduce a transformative immigration plan that aims to provide protection and work permits to hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants. President Biden’s announcement of this plan, known as the Parole in Place program, is a significant development in U.S. immigration policy. It offers undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens a pathway to legal status and work authorization. This guide will detail the process of applying for parole in place, eligibility criteria, and the broader implications of the plan.

Overview of Biden Administration’s Anticipated New Immigration Plan

President Biden’s anticipated new immigration plan is likely to include several key provisions:

  • Parole in Place: Grants temporary legal status to undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens. Administration officials have provided details about the eligibility requirements and benefits of the program.
  • Work Permits: Provides eligible individuals with work authorization.
  • Pathway to Permanent Residency: Creates a route to legal permanent residency (green card) and U.S. citizenship.
  • Support for Dreamers: Expedites access to work visas for DACA recipients and other undocumented immigrants.

This plan offers a significant benefit by allowing eligible immigrants to apply for permanent residence, obtain work permits, and have a path to U.S. citizenship, all while keeping families together and contributing positively to the nation.

Eligibility Criteria for Parole in Place (“PIP”)

To be eligible for this anticipated parole in place program, eligible immigrants, including those who are undocumented and married to U.S. citizens, must meet the following criteria:

  • Residency Duration: Must have resided in the U.S. for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024.
  • Marital Status: Must be legally married to a U.S. citizen by June 17, 2024.
  • Exclusions: Individuals who have been previously deported or pose a threat to national security or public safety are not eligible.
  • Additional Beneficiaries: Non-citizen stepchildren of U.S. citizens under the age of 21 are also eligible.

Step-by-Step Process for Applying for Parole in Place

Step 1: Determine Eligibility

Once the program is officially announced, and before starting the application process, ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria listed above, including those specific to undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens.

Step 2: Gather Required Documentation

Collect all necessary documents to support your application. These may include:

  • Proof of residency (e.g., utility bills, lease agreements).
  • Marriage certificate.
  • Proof of your spouse’s U.S. citizenship (e.g., birth certificate, naturalization certificate) if you are among the spouses of U.S. citizens.
  • Any other relevant records that demonstrate your eligibility.

Step 3: Submit the Application

Submit your application to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Detailed instructions and forms can be found on the USCIS website.

Step 4: Attend Biometrics Appointment

You will be required to attend a biometrics appointment for fingerprinting and photograph. USCIS will send you an appointment notice with the date, time, and location.

Step 5: Attend the Interview (if required)

In some cases, you may be required to attend an interview. During the interview, an immigration officer will review your application and ask questions to verify the information provided.

Step 6: Await Decision

After your interview (if required) and submission of all documents, wait for USCIS to process your application. You will receive a decision by mail.

Step 7: Receive Parole in Place Status

If your application is approved, you will receive parole in place status, which grants you temporary legal status and the ability to apply for a work permit.

Step 8: Apply for a Work Permit

Once you have received parole in place status, you can apply for a work permit, which allows you to legally work in the U.S. while your application for permanent residency is being processed.

Step 9: Apply for Permanent Residency

Within three years of receiving parole in place status, you must apply for permanent residency (green card). After five years as a green card holder, you can apply for U.S. citizenship.

Timeline from PIP to Citizenship

 

  1. Obtain Parole in Place Status: 3 years to apply for permanent residency.
  2. Apply for Green Card: After receiving parole in place, apply for a green card.
  3. Permanent Residency: Live in the U.S. as a green card holder for 5 years.
  4. Apply for Citizenship: After 5 years, apply for U.S. citizenship.

Estimated Number of Beneficiaries

  • Undocumented Spouses: 500,000
  • Non-Citizen Stepchildren: 50,000
  • Dreamers with DACA Status: Approximately 528,000

The new plan will also benefit hundreds of thousands of mixed-status families by providing temporary legal status, clearing roadblocks to obtaining permanent legal status, and offering relief from the risk of deportation.

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Dreamers and DACA Holders

President Biden’s plan also includes provisions to support Dreamers and DACA recipients. These individuals, who were brought to the U.S. as children, will benefit from expedited access to work visas.

Eligibility for Dreamers and DACA Holders

  • Educational Requirements: Must have earned a degree from a U.S. institution of higher education.
  • Employment: Must have received a job offer from a U.S. employer in a field related to their degree.

Expedited Work Visas

DACA recipients who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for work visas, such as the H-1B visa, which is designed for high-skilled workers. This provision aims to ensure that individuals educated in the U.S. can contribute their skills to the American economy.

Economic and Social Benefits

Economic Impact

The new immigration plan is expected to positively impact the U.S. economy by allowing undocumented immigrants to work legally. This will:

  • Increase tax revenues. Undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for decades have been paying taxes and contributing to their communities.
  • Reduce exploitation in the labor market.
  • Help fill labor shortages in various sectors.

Family Unity

The primary goal of the parole in place program is to keep families together. By providing legal status and work permits, the program aims to prevent the separation of families due to deportation.

Legal and Social Stability

Providing legal stability to hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants will:

  • Improve mental health and social integration.
  • Reduce the constant fear of deportation.
  • Enhance overall well-being.

Legal Considerations and Potential Challenges

Legal Challenges

As with many immigration-related executive actions, this new plan is likely to face legal challenges, particularly from states or groups opposed to immigration reforms. These challenges could impact the implementation and longevity of the program. Senior administration officials have discussed the potential legal challenges and how they plan to address them.

Case-by-Case Assessment

The parole in place program requires case-by-case assessments by the DHS, ensuring that only eligible individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety or national security are granted protection.

Temporary Nature of Parole Authority

It is important to note that parole authority is an executive power, and future administrations could potentially pause or alter the program. While the current plan offers significant benefits, its future remains uncertain. However, the long-term goal of the program is to provide a path towards permanent legal status for undocumented immigrants, particularly those married to U.S. citizens.

Conclusion

President Biden’s anticipated new immigration plan represents a significant step towards reforming the U.S. immigration system and providing much-needed relief to undocumented immigrants. By offering parole in place, work permits, and a pathway to citizenship, the plan aims to promote family unity, strengthen the economy, and provide legal stability to many individuals living in the shadows.

This comprehensive guide has provided an overview of the key aspects of Biden’s new immigration plan, including eligibility criteria, the application process, and the broader implications of this policy change. If you or someone you know may benefit from this program, it is crucial to stay informed and seek professional legal advice to navigate the complexities of the immigration system.

For detailed information, application forms, and updates, visit the USCIS website. For legal assistance, contact the Herman Legal Group at 18008084013.

Additionally, the Biden administration has emphasized the importance of securing the southern border as part of its broader efforts to fix the immigration system for families in America.