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Discussing Biden’s New Parole Program for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

Notebook, gavel and American flag on table

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Empowered Immigrant Live! My name is Otis Landerholm, and I am the founding attorney here at Landerholm Immigration APC, where we fight for your American Dream. I’m grateful to have you join us today. We’re live on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok, bringing you the latest updates in immigration law.

Today’s topic is particularly exciting: the new Biden Parole Program for the spouses of U.S. citizens. This program, announced just a couple of days ago, aims to create a pathway for certain undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens to obtain legal status. I’ll be breaking down the details, discussing the implications, and answering any questions you might have. So, let’s dive right in.

What is the Biden Parole Program?

The Biden Administration recently announced a new parole program aimed at helping spouses of U.S. citizens who meet specific criteria. This is a significant development in immigration law, and it’s essential to understand its nuances to determine if you or someone you know might benefit.

Key Requirements

Here are the five primary requirements for eligibility under this new parole program:

1. Married to a U.S. Citizen: As of June 17th, 2024, you must be married to a U.S. citizen.

2. Ten Years of Continuous Physical Presence: You must have been continuously physically present in the United States from June 17th, 2014, to June 17th, 2024.

3. No Lawful Admission or Parole: You must not have been lawfully admitted, inspected, or paroled into the United States.

4. No Threat to National Security/Public Safety: You must not be a threat to national security or public safety and must not have disqualifying criminal history.

5. Favorable Exercise of Discretion: You must merit a favorable exercise of discretion by immigration authorities.

Let’s break these down further to ensure clarity.

1. Married to a U.S. Citizen

This requirement is straightforward. If you are married to a U.S. citizen as of June 17th, 2024, you meet this criterion.

2. Ten Years of Continuous Physical Presence

You need to prove that you have been physically present in the U.S. for the past ten years. This proof can come from various documents such as tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and more.

3. No Lawful Admission or Parole

If you were admitted or paroled into the U.S. (e.g., with a visa), you do not qualify for this parole. This program is designed for those who entered the U.S. without inspection.

4. No Threat to National Security/Public Safety

This criterion requires that you have no criminal history that disqualifies you and that you are not a threat to national security or public safety. The exact details of what constitutes “disqualifying criminal history” are still pending, but it’s essential to understand that even minor offenses could potentially impact your eligibility.

5. Favorable Exercise of Discretion

This is perhaps the most subjective requirement. Immigration authorities will consider various factors to determine if you merit a favorable exercise of discretion. This can include your family ties, employment history, and contributions to your community.

Potential Impact

So, who does this help? The government estimates that approximately 500,000 people could be eligible under this program. Additionally, children of these spouses who are unmarried and under 21 years old might also benefit. This could add another 50,000 people to the program.

The Process

First, you apply for and, hopefully, win parole. Once approved, you can use this parole to apply for adjustment of status (a green card) without leaving the U.S. This eliminates the need for an I-601A waiver and the long wait times associated with consular processing.

Challenges and Considerations

Legal Challenges

Like other immigration initiatives, this program could face legal challenges. Court battles could delay or derail its implementation. It’s crucial to stay informed and prepared for any changes.

Political Uncertainty

The upcoming November election could also impact this program. A change in administration could mean policy reversals, making it essential to act promptly and stay updated.

Gathering Evidence

While we wait for the official process to be outlined, it’s wise to start gathering the necessary evidence now. This includes:

Proof of Marriage: Marriage certificate showing the date.

Proof of Physical Presence: Tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, utility bills, and other documents showing continuous presence from June 17th, 2014, to June 17th, 2024.

No Criminal History: Documentation proving you have no disqualifying criminal history.

Other Supporting Documents: Any other documents that can help demonstrate your eligibility.

FAQs

What if I’m in the Middle of Another Immigration Process?

If you’re already pursuing another immigration process (e.g., asylum, U visa, or consular processing), consult with your attorney about whether to switch strategies. Keeping your current process as a backup (Plan B) while applying for parole could be a smart move.

What if I’m in Immigration Court?

If you’re in immigration court, it might be more challenging to win parole. Work with an attorney experienced in court proceedings. You might need to get your case terminated before applying for adjustment of status through this new program.

What if I’m Not Eligible?

For those who don’t meet the requirements, other options may still be available, such as U visas, asylum, family-based options, or waiver cases. Consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer is essential to explore all possible avenues.

Stay Informed

While the program isn’t live yet, staying informed and prepared is crucial. Follow reliable sources, join live sessions, and consult with experienced immigration attorneys to ensure you’re ready to act once the process is officially outlined.

Conclusion

Thank you for joining me today to discuss the Biden Parole Program for the spouses of U.S. citizens. Remember, immigration law is complex, and staying informed is key. If you have any questions or need assistance with your immigration case, don’t hesitate to contact us at Landerholm Immigration APC. We’re here to fight for your American Dream.

You can watch our entire video on the matter right here:

The top 7 reasons a Green Card could be denied (youtube.com)

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