By: Margaret Stock
Another day, and yet another story about immigration policy with commentators who ignore the facts, overreact, and fling the dreaded “amnesty” word around without sufficient research.
Let me take the opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about the “Parole in Place” available for certain close relatives of U.S. service members and veterans.
Parole in place is not a new program and it is certainly not “amnesty.” The administration has merely issued a Policy Memorandum that clarifies an existing policy that carries out a law duly enacted by Congress. This policy, known as “Parole in Place,” is grounded in the statutory parole authority given to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in the Immigration and Nationality Act. That law allows the Executive Branch to issue immigration paroles, including paroles in place, and the immigration agencies have been issuing such paroles for decades. The existing military immigration parole policy—started under the Bush Administration when Michael Chertoff was the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security—allows some undocumented relatives of U.S. military members and veterans to stay in the U.S. lawfully while they pursue green cards.
The new Policy Memorandum merely ensures that this existing law is applied consistently by USCIS employees to U.S. military family members. Such consistency has been lacking because agency employees previously had no written guidance from headquarters with regard to what family members were subject to the policy. This lack of guidance resulted in errors, so that, for example, the Nebraska USCIS field office denied parole in place to the wife of a disabled Iraqi war veteran and member of the Nebraska National Guard in the mistaken belief that the National Guard is not part of the Army. The memo will reduce such errors by agency employees.
The memo also explicitly acknowledges the value of the policy: Our nation’s broken legal immigration system has caused harm to our military. Military members suffer emotional distress and related stress because they are terrified that their family members might be deported while they are serving our country.
To read the full article, please click: Parole in Place: What it is and what it isn’t