President Obama Announces New Policy That Could Lead to Wider Immigration Reform
New Parole-in-Place Policy May Create the Precedent for a General Amnesty
President Obama has announced a new policy that could serve as the model for immigration reform if Congress doesn’t act. It’s called “Parole-in-Place” and it allows undocumented immigrant spouses, children under 21 and parents of current US service members, reservists and veterans to apply to live legally in the US.
Under prior rules, anyone who entered the U.S. without Immigration inspection was subject to deportation and most could not adjust to permanent residence. Their only option was to pursue a lengthy and uncertain waiver process that requires a return to their home country. But leaving the United States triggers a 10-year bar from returning for any immigrant who entered without inspection.
“This is good news for immigrants because it creates another way for those who would otherwise be caught in an impossible situation to adjust their status without suffering the hardship of a 10-year bar,” says Peter Jaensch, military veteran, prominent Sarasota immigration attorney and founder of Jaensch Immigration Law Firm.
Immigrants who are paroled-in-place can obtain work and travel permission without leaving the US. With work permission, the applicant can obtain a Social Security number. If parole-in-place is granted and the applicant is a spouse, child under 21, or parent of a U.S. citizen, he or she would also be able to apply for a Green card.
President Obama has publicly stated several times that he supports immigration reform. In June, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill but the House of Representatives has not taken it up. House Speaker Boehner recently announced that the House will not hold formal compromise talks on the bill.
In the meantime, President Obama has pursued immigration reform through prosecutorial discretion. In June 2012, in a policy change similar to “Parole-in-Place,” the President announced the Deferred Action policy. It allowed undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children, obtained a high school diploma or equivalent and remained under a certain age, to obtain work and travel permission. In August, the President instructed DHS officials, when finalizing removal orders for undocumented parents, to take into account the potential hardship for their minor children. With this new policy, Obama moves closer to his goal of immigration reform.
There is no government fee for the parole-in-place application, as there usually is. Parole-in-place will be granted in one-year increments.
“As a military veteran myself I am glad to see the government doing more to support our service members and veterans,” says Mr. Jaensch. “And we are ready to do our part as well.” Jaensch Immigration Law Firm is offering free consultations to military family members who want to know more about this policy.
IN SPANISH: Cesar Gomez explica la nueva política de parole-in-place.