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Joe Biden Reveals New Plans To Grant U.S. Citizenship To 500,000 Immigrants

President Biden announced a new immigration initiative to provide legal status and a streamlined path to residency and citizenship for around 500,000 unauthorized immigrants married to U.S. citizens

Edited By : Aniket Raj | Updated: Jun 19, 2024 08:39 IST
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u.s. president joe biden

On Tuesday, President Biden revealed a significant immigration initiative designed to provide legal status and an expedited route to U.S. residency and citizenship for approximately 500,000 unauthorized immigrants who are married to American citizens.

According to reports, the Department of Homeland Security’s “Parole in Place” policy will enable these immigrants to apply for work permits and deportation protections, provided they have resided in the U.S. for at least 10 years and meet other criteria. The program mandates that undocumented spouses submit the required paperwork and pass a criminal background check, and it is not applicable to future migrants. President Biden stated that the measures announced on Tuesday will take effect “later this summer.”

From the White House, President Biden announced a practical solution to simplify the process for immigrants married to American citizens to obtain legal status, provided they have resided in the U.S. for a significant period. This measure will enable undocumented spouses and their children, who have lived in the country for ten years or more, to file the necessary paperwork for legal status in the United States.

Administration officials estimate that approximately 500,000 unauthorized immigrants married to U.S. citizens will be eligible for the Parole in Place program. To qualify, applicants must have been legally married to their American citizen spouse by June 17. Individuals considered a threat to national security or public safety will be ineligible.

The Department of Homeland Security stated that the spouses who stand to benefit from the program have been in the country for an average of 23 years.

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The president made this announcement during an event commemorating the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA, initiated by President Barack Obama, provided deportation protections for hundreds of thousands of minors brought to the U.S. as children, known as “Dreamers.” However, a federal judge in Texas ruled last year that the DACA program is unlawful, preventing the acceptance of new applications.

President Biden’s new program is anticipated to create a pathway to permanent residency, or green cards, and eventually U.S. citizenship for many eligible beneficiaries. If upheld in court, this policy would become the largest government initiative to protect undocumented migrants since DACA.

An immigrant married to a U.S. citizen is typically eligible for a green card. However, current federal law requires immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally to leave and re-enter legally to qualify for a green card. Departing the U.S. after residing illegally for certain periods can result in a 10-year ban, deterring many mixed-status families from pursuing this process.

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First published on: Jun 19, 2024 08:39 AM IST

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