According to very reputable sources, it appears that the Administration will soon be terminating humanitarian policies intended for the military. The two most prominent programs that are endangered are deferred action and parole-in-place (“PIP” for short). The second one, especially, has been of enormous utility to family members of the military who would not otherwise be eligible to adjust their status in the United States. For more information on parole-in-place, read our previous entry here. Although USCIS has yet to officially confirm anything, those intending on filing for deferred action or parole-in-place would be well advised to do so within the next few weeks before the new hardline policy becomes effective. Should these programs be terminated, undocumented and out-of-status family members of active and veteran military members will presumably not be given any special consideration, and like those similarly situated, be vulnerable to removal from the US. The negative effects of dismantling parole-in-place should be obvious: morale and the ability to focus on one’s duties may be compromised if armed force members serving our country are now preoccupied with and worried about family members who do not have status.
Additionally, stripping parole-in-place will deprive eligible individuals from potentially being able to file for permanent residence inside the US. Under the program as it exists, a grant will in effect legally parole an individual into the US, notwithstanding the fact that he/she might have otherwise entered the US without inspection. Why is this important? This distinction is critical because in order to adjust status inside the US, one must prove inspection or parole. By granting parole to individuals who have demonstrated that a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted (in other words, this is not an automatic grant by any means), the government is sparing qualified family members of our military the stress and expense of having to leave the US to pursue their permanent resident applications. Of course, the applicant must still meet all the other requirements for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, so a grant of PIP in and of itself, does not automatically translate into a green card. However, given the importance and role of our military, PIP applicants should still be given the opportunity to at least apply for consideration. Hopefully, the Administration will reconsider its proposed course of action and continue processing these types of requests.
The above is general information only and not intended as legal advice. It does not create an attorney client relationship, nor should it be relied in lieu of consultation with an attorney.