NewsUndocumented Spouses of U.S. Citizens Can Now Apply for Deportation Deferral Under...

Undocumented Spouses of U.S. Citizens Can Now Apply for Deportation Deferral Under Biden’s New Policy

In a significant move aimed at protecting families and promoting immigration reform, President Joe Biden has announced a new policy that will shield undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens from deportation as reported by APNews on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

This decision comes as a relief for countless families who have been living in fear of separation due to their immigration status. The policy is a step towards addressing the complex and often heartbreaking situations faced by mixed-status families in the United States.

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Understanding the New Policy

Undocumented Spouses of U.S. Citizens Can Now Apply for Deportation Deferral Under Biden’s New Policy

The new policy, announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), grants undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens the opportunity to apply for a temporary deferral of deportation, known as “parole.” This parole status will be granted on a case-by-case basis and will provide protection from removal proceedings for a renewable period of two years.

To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Marital Relationship: The applicant must be the spouse of a U.S. citizen, and the marriage must be bona fide (genuine and not entered into solely for immigration purposes).
  2. Physical Presence: The applicant must have been physically present in the United States on or before the effective date of the policy.
  3. Background Checks: The applicant must pass background checks, including criminal history and national security checks.
  4. No Significant Immigration Violations: The applicant must not have any significant immigration violations or other factors that would make them ineligible for parole.

The policy aims to keep families together and prevent the separation of spouses from their U.S. citizen partners and children. It recognizes the hardships faced by mixed-status families and seeks to provide a measure of stability and security for those affected.

Application Process and Requirements

To apply for the parole program, undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens will need to follow a specific application process. Here are the key steps:

  1. Gather Required Documents: Applicants will need to provide proof of their marriage to a U.S. citizen, such as a marriage certificate, as well as evidence of their physical presence in the United States. Additional supporting documents may be required.
  2. Submit Application: Applicants must submit a completed application form, along with the required documents and supporting evidence, to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  3. Biometrics Appointment: Applicants will be required to attend a biometrics appointment to provide fingerprints, photographs, and other biometric data for background checks.
  4. Interview (if required): In some cases, applicants may be required to attend an in-person interview with a USCIS officer to discuss their case and provide additional information.
  5. Decision: USCIS will review the application and supporting documents and make a decision on whether to grant parole status. If approved, the applicant will receive a parole document valid for two years, which can be renewed.

It is important to note that the application process may involve fees, and applicants are encouraged to seek guidance from qualified immigration attorneys or accredited representatives to ensure they meet all requirements and submit a complete and accurate application.

Impact and Significance

The new policy has been widely praised by immigration advocates and families affected by the previous strict enforcement measures. It represents a significant step towards addressing the challenges faced by mixed-status families and recognizing the importance of keeping families together.

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However, it is important to note that this policy is a temporary measure and does not provide a permanent solution or a pathway to citizenship for undocumented spouses. It is a stopgap measure aimed at providing relief and stability for families while broader immigration reform efforts continue.

Immigration advocates and experts have called for comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the root causes of undocumented immigration and provides a clear and humane path to legal status for those already living and contributing to communities across the United States.

Step-by-Step Guide for Applying

If you are an undocumented spouse of a U.S. citizen and wish to apply for the parole program, follow these steps:

  1. Gather Required Documents: Collect the necessary documents, including your marriage certificate, proof of physical presence in the United States (such as utility bills, bank statements, or employment records), and any other supporting evidence.
  2. Complete the Application Form: Obtain the appropriate application form from the USCIS website or by visiting a local USCIS office. Carefully read and follow the instructions, and provide accurate and truthful information.
  3. Submit the Application: Submit your completed application form, along with the required documents and supporting evidence, to the designated USCIS service center or field office. You may need to pay the applicable filing fees.
  4. Attend Biometrics Appointment: Once your application is received, USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment for you to provide fingerprints, photographs, and other biometric data for background checks.
  5. Prepare for Interview (if required): In some cases, USCIS may require you to attend an in-person interview to discuss your case and provide additional information. Be prepared to answer questions about your marriage, immigration history, and any other relevant details.
  6. Wait for Decision: USCIS will review your application and supporting documents and make a decision on whether to grant you parole status. This process may take several months, so be patient and comply with any requests for additional information or documentation.
  7. Renew Parole Status (if approved): If your application is approved, you will receive a parole document valid for two years. Before the expiration date, you will need to apply for a renewal of your parole status by following the same process.

Throughout the application process, it is highly recommended to seek guidance from a qualified immigration attorney or accredited representative.

They can assist you in navigating the complex legal requirements, ensuring you submit a complete and accurate application, and representing you in any interviews or proceedings.Remember, the parole program is a temporary measure, and it is essential to stay informed about any updates or changes to immigration policies and regulations.

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Additional Resources and SupportNursing Abroad images 20

If you or someone you know is an undocumented spouse of a U.S. citizen and seeking more information or assistance with the parole program, here are some additional resources:

  • USCIS Contact Center: You can reach out to the USCIS Contact Center for general inquiries and information about the application process. VisitĀ their websiteĀ or call 1-800-375-5283.
  • Immigration Legal Services Providers: Many non-profit organizations and legal aid clinics offer free or low-cost immigration legal services. You can search for providers in your area through theĀ Immigration Advocates NetworkĀ or theĀ American Immigration Lawyers Association.
  • Community Organizations: Local community organizations and advocacy groups often provide support and resources for immigrant families. They can assist with referrals, language assistance, and navigating the application process.
  • Online Resources: Reputable online resources, such as theĀ American Immigration CouncilĀ and theĀ National Immigration Law Center, offer up-to-date information, guidance, and resources related to immigration policies and programs.

Remember, the immigration process can be complex and ever-changing. It is crucial to seek reliable and accurate information from trusted sources and to consult with qualified legal professionals when necessary.

Conclusion

President Biden’s new policy shielding undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens from deportation is a significant step towards addressing the challenges faced by mixed-status families.

While it provides temporary relief and stability, it also highlights the need for comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the root causes of undocumented immigration and offers a clear path to legal status.

As the application process for the parole program unfolds, it is essential for eligible individuals to seek guidance from qualified immigration attorneys or accredited representatives to ensure they meet all requirements and submit a complete and accurate application.

Additionally, staying informed about any updates or changes to immigration policies and regulations is crucial.

By providing a measure of protection for families and recognizing the importance of keeping loved ones together, this policy represents a step in the right direction. However, much work remains to be done to create a fair, humane, and comprehensive immigration system that upholds the values of family unity and human dignity.

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