The Department of Homeland Security has issued a new policy that will help unauthorized and undocumented military dependents to secure permanent immigration status as soon as possible. This effort seeks to relieve active-duty soldiers of the fear that their undocumented family members could be deported while they are deployed overseas.
Termed “Parole in Place,” this action will allow active military troops, as well as veterans, to know that relatives who are here illegally can be protected from deportation. It guards the spouses, children, and parents of those on active duty as well as those who served in the armed forces in the past.
What that means is that noncitizen spouses, parents, and ummarried minor children of U.S. citizen members of the U.S. military (current or past) who are in the U.S. after an unlawful entry now have (as of November 2013) a path to a U.S. green card that is not available to others.
Family members can change their status via Parole in Place so that their unlawful entry will not bar them from applying for adjustment of status. They can stay in the U.S. and move toward becoming permanent residents.
This opportunity allows those who already qualify for a green card based on this close family relationship to “adjust status”. The can therefor apply for lawful permanent residence or a green card without leaving the U.S., despite their past illegal entry and stay. Those immigrants who receive Parole in Place will have work permits, but will have to renew their documents every year.
It only seems fair that military members who have served our country selflessly and courageously can be assured that their spouses, children, and parents will be allowed to stay in the U.S. and pursue legal residency here. They won’t be forced to leave the country and potentially be trapped overseas for years—often in dangerous places—before being allowed to return and work to become U.S. citizens.