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Biden Administration Considers Immigration Relief for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

Posted by Hugo R. Valverde, Managing Attorney, and Anna D. Colby, Attorney Social Media Marketing Manager | May 14, 2024 | 0 Comments

Photo by Sid Suratia on Unsplash

There are less than six months between now and the next U.S. presidential election.

In the time remaining, the candidates need to set themselves apart from each other, and show the American people why they should be voted for on November 5.

Since his first day in office, President Biden has tried to show his support and commitment to immigrant families, and to set his administration apart as one that is wanting to keep families together. Although DACA still has not become law, in the last three years Biden has enabled a family reunification parole process for nationals of Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Cuba, and Haiti. 

Now the Biden White House has let it be known that the Administration is considering putting in place a key policy that would give over 1 million families reason to celebrate - immigration relief for undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens. 

According to a letter from Senator Padilla and 18 other senators urging the Biden Administration to “streamline pathways to lawful status for undocumented immigrants”, there are over 1.1 million U.S. citizens married to an undocumented immigrant, and about 4.9 million U.S. citizen children who have an undocumented parent. 

There are multiple studies about the stress that mixed-status families experience in the United States. Although the Biden Administration provided guidance in 2021 to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about what types of cases should be prioritized for deportation, ICE has not consistently followed that guidance, and mixed-status families continue to live with the stress of knowing that their loved ones could be placed in deportation proceedings at any time. 

The Administration has stated its commitment “to building an immigration system that is fairer and more humane”, and the program President Biden is considering for mixed-status couples would certainly fit that description. Reportedly the program the Biden Administration is considering is called “parole in place” - a temporary status that would give undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens the ability to access work permits and potentially be put on a pathway to citizenship. Right now, even if a U.S. citizen spouse has the means to sponsor their immigrant spouse's USCIS petition, if the undocumented spouse entered the U.S. ‘without inspection' it is extremely difficult to adjust status. 

We are hopeful that more news will be released on this potential policy in the coming weeks, and we look forward to sharing with you that information as it becomes available.

If you would like assistance with an immigration petition, you can reach us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.

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