Biden Administration Slated to Announce Executive Action Granting Amnesty to Certain Spouses of U.S. Citizens, and Pathway to Nonimmigrant Visas for Dreamers

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The world of immigration has been shaken up by new reports that the Biden administration intends to release a groundbreaking executive action on immigration. The President’s order could soon allow spouses of U.S. Citizens to legalize their status in the United States.

According to government officials speaking on condition of anonymity, full details of the executive action are expected to be released as early as Tuesday – the twelfth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If passed, it would be one of the largest immigration relief proposals in recent history.

Essentially, a plan has been in the works to create a program known as “Parole in Place” that would offer work permits and deportation protections to undocumented immigrants married to U.S. Citizens, so long as they have lived in the United States for at least 10 years.

Such a program would eliminate the need for spouses of U.S. Citizens to travel outside of the United States to legalize their status through an extreme hardship “waiver” process, that has posed obstacles for many to become legalized.

Instead, the program would open a pathway to permanent residence for spouses of U.S. Citizens to adjust their status to permanent residence from the United States, without having to depart the country.

If passed, the White House’s measure could benefit more than 1.1 million undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens, if they can meet the eligibility requirements.

Immigration Relief for Dreamers

Separately, the President’s executive order is also rumored to include a proposal that would streamline the process for DACA recipients and other undocumented immigrants to request waivers that would allow them to apply for temporary nonimmigrant visas, such as H-1B visas for highly skilled professional workers.

Under such a proposal, the State Department could issue new guidance clarifying that DACA recipients should be presumed eligible for non-immigrants visas if they leave the United States to be interviewed at U.S. Embassies and Consulates for those visas.

When questioned by the White House about these new developments, a government representative said that no final decisions have yet been made but the administration remains, “committed to take action to fix our broken immigration system.”

While the President’s move is certainly political, it could ultimately energize latino voters to support Biden’s re-election campaign.

Even if the President signs the order into law, there remains the possibility that the Parole in Place program could be met with fierce legal challenges in federal court. Republican-led states have long-criticized Biden’s stance on immigration and used the courts to take action against the Biden administration for what they believe is an overreach of power.

While comprehensive immigration reform can only be passed by a legislative bill in Congress, politicians have failed to reach an agreement for decades.

Further complicating the situation is whether Biden will be re-elected in November. This summer, republicans are expected to confirm Donald Trump as the nominee for the 2024 Presidential election. If he wins a second term in office, Trump will certainly oppose and strike down such executive actions on immigration.

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