HomeAmericasPoliticsBiden Offers Legal Status To Spouses Of US Citizens

Biden Offers Legal Status To Spouses Of US Citizens

Biden Offers Legal Status To Spouses Of US Citizens

Biden Offers Legal Status To Spouses Of US Citizens

Photo: C-SPAN

India-West News Desk

WASHINGTON, DC – President Joe Biden is announcing a significant immigration initiative on June 18, which will provide legal status and a streamlined path to U.S. residency and citizenship for approximately 500,000 unauthorized immigrants married to American citizens.

The Department of Homeland Security’s new policy will allow these immigrants to apply for work permits and deportation protections if they have lived in the U.S. for at least ten years and meet other specified requirements. Senior administration officials estimate that about half a million unauthorized immigrants with U.S. citizen spouses will qualify for this program.

If upheld in court, this policy would be the largest government initiative for undocumented immigrants since the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which currently protects 528,000 “DREAMers” from deportation. Biden made the announcement during a White House event commemorating DACA’s 12th anniversary.

This is the second major and legally contentious executive action on immigration by President Biden within a month. Earlier in June, he invoked a presidential power frequently used by former President Donald Trump to disqualify most migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border from seeking asylum, CBS News pointed out.

Under the new policy, known as Parole-in-Place, eligible immigrants will be able to work and live in the U.S. legally on a temporary basis and seek permanent legal status without leaving the country. Typically, immigrants married to U.S. citizens are eligible for green cards, but current federal law requires those who entered the U.S. illegally to leave the country and re-enter legally to be eligible. This process often deters mixed-status families from pursuing legal residency due to potential 10-year bans on re-entry.

The Biden administration’s policy would allow eligible immigrants to obtain a green card without leaving the U.S. After five years as a green card holder, these immigrants can apply for American citizenship. Applicants must have been legally married to their American citizen spouse by June 17, and those deemed to pose a threat to national security or public safety will not qualify.

A senior administration official stated that the government plans to open the Parole-in-Place program to applications “by the end of summer.”

The policy is expected to face legal challenges, possibly from Republican-led states, which have previously sued the Biden administration over its immigration policies, CBS News reported.

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