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Parole in Place: A Benefit Still Available to Military Families

By Manuela D. Policicchio, Esq.

 

With all the ways that President Trump and his administration are trying to limit or halt forms of immigration to the United States, it is important to note that some immigration policies and programs are still operating normally. While President Trump had mentioned in 2017 that his administration would possibly end a program called Parole in Place, or “PIP,” the federal government is currently still granting PIP to qualifying individuals.

 

PIP is a policy that was started in 2007 under President Bush to ease the stress and anxiety that some military personnel face because they worry about the immigration status of their family members; all whilst they themselves are serving their country. The policy is also meant to help military dependents “secure permanent immigration status in the United States” as soon as possible.

 

PIP is a type of lawful status that “paroles”, or officially allows, immediate family members of certain military personnel to stay and reside in the U.S. for renewable one-year periods of time. Recipients of PIP can also apply for a work authorization card and, many times, eventually get a green card - all without having to leave the U.S.

 

To be eligible for PIP, an individual must be the spouse, parent, or child of someone currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve. PIP is also available for spouses, parents, and children of living or deceased veterans, as long as the veteran was not dishonorably discharged.

 

It is important to note that PIP is only available to military family members who entered without admission or parole. PIP does not apply to people who were first admitted into the U.S. and then overstayed their authorized period of admission. Under the PIP policy, this is because individuals who are present in the U.S. without admission “are applicants for admission” whereas individuals who are currently in the U.S. beyond their authorized period of admission “are no longer applicants for admission.”

 

By making PIP available to military families, the federal government ensures the unity of these families. Specifically, people immigrating to the U.S. through a family relationship usually have to travel outside the U.S. and apply at an American Consulate to be readmitted. The requirement to travel outside the U.S. can potentially cause families to be separated for long periods of time before the immigrating family member is allowed to return to the U.S. and get a Green Card. The PIP policy means that military family members have legal status to remain in the U.S. during the Green Card application process.

 

If someone thinks they may qualify for PIP, it is important to contact an immigration attorney to correctly determine their eligibility. People who have a criminal conviction or other criminal matters on their record may face issues when applying for PIP.

 

Overall, PIP is a great option for military families that have concerns about their immigration status and want to ensure that they can remain together in the U.S. Furthermore, due to the current changes in the U.S. immigration environment, it may be a good idea for military families to take advantage of PIP while it is still available.

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2018 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/02/18 20:56:52 -0700.

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