Half a million immigrants could eventually get U.S. citizenship under a new plan from Joe Biden
Image via AP.

Joe Biden
Senior administration officials said they anticipate the process will be open for applications by the end of the Summer.

President Joe Biden is taking an expansive election year step to offer relief to potentially hundreds of thousands of immigrants without legal status in the U.S., aiming to balance his own aggressive crackdown on the southern border earlier this month that enraged advocates and many Democratic lawmakers.

The White House announced Tuesday that the Biden administration will, in the coming months, allow certain spouses of U.S. citizens without legal status to apply for permanent residency and eventually citizenship. The move could affect upwards of half a million immigrants, according to senior administration officials.

To qualify, an immigrant must have lived in the United States for 10 years as of Monday and be married to a U.S. citizen. If a qualifying immigrant’s application is approved, he or she would have three years to apply for a green card and receive a temporary work permit and be shielded from deportation in the meantime.

About 50,000 noncitizen children with a parent who is married to a U.S. citizen could also potentially qualify for the same process, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the proposal on the condition of anonymity. There is no requirement on how long the couple must have been married, and no one becomes eligible after Monday. That means immigrants who reach that 10-year mark after Monday will not qualify for the program, according to the officials.

Senior administration officials said they anticipate the process will be open for applications by the end of the Summer, and fees to apply have yet to be determined.

Biden will speak about his plans at a Tuesday event at the White House, which will also mark the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a popular Barack Obama-era directive that offered deportation protections and temporary work permits for young immigrants who lack legal status.

White House officials privately encouraged Democrats in the House, which is in recess this week, to travel back to Washington to attend the announcement.

The Democratic President will also announce new regulations that will allow certain DACA beneficiaries and other young immigrants to more easily qualify for long-established work visas. That would allow qualifying immigrants to have protection that is sturdier than the work permits offered by DACA, which is currently facing legal challenges and is no longer taking new applications.

The power that Biden is invoking with his Tuesday announcement for spouses is not a novel one. The policy would expand on authority used by Presidents George W. Bush and Obama to allow “parole in place” for family members of military members, said Andrea Flores, a former policy adviser in the Obama and Biden administrations who is now a Vice President at FWD.us, an immigration advocacy organization.

The parole-in-place process allows qualifying immigrants to get on the path to U.S. permanent residency without leaving the country, removing a common barrier for those without legal status but married to Americans. Flores said it “fulfills President Biden’s Day 1 promise to protect undocumented immigrants and their American families.”

People in the country illegally who marry U.S. citizens have to leave for years to get legal status. Claudia Zúniga, of Houston, married a man who was in the United States since 2007 but left for Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, after they wed in 2017 to bide time until he could return legally.

Zúniga, 35, said her family’s life “did a 180-degree turn” when her husband moved to Mexico. Reuniting with her husband “would be a dream come true.”

“My husband could be with us,” she said. “We could focus on the well-being of our children.”

Tuesday’s announcement comes two weeks after Biden unveiled a sweeping crackdown at the U.S.-Mexico border that effectively halted asylum claims for those arriving between officially designated ports of entry. Immigrant-rights groups have sued the Biden administration over that directive, which a senior administration official said Monday had led to fewer border encounters between ports.


Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • zhombre

    June 18, 2024 at 12:47 pm

    The only catch is they must register as and vote for Democrats.

    • Elvis Pitts "The Big Voice On The Right" American

      June 19, 2024 at 8:17 am

      Thank you Z,
      All Sage Patriots are hereby instructed to Relax Their Political Sphincters about this issue.
      It will be DOA on day one of The Sage Trump Administration. As a matter of record I, Elvis Pitts American, have already written out the verbage of Trumps Executive Order and received his thanks and promise to follow through on Day One. The “Donald” also indicated that my verbage eas so sweet that he will give me The Presidential Medal of Honor (Just like Rush got) along with the Sharpie pen he uses to sign The Sage Executive Order.
      Dont forget to relax your sphincters.
      Thank you,
      Elvis Pitts American

  • Impeach Biden

    June 18, 2024 at 1:02 pm

    Biden buying votes wherever he can. Truly the most inept and incompetent President in my lifetime. Jimmy Carter thanks you suckers that voted for him every day.

    • Jay Smif

      June 18, 2024 at 1:50 pm

      Keep sucking that Trumpcock, cultist. I’m sure that money will “trickle down” to you sooner or later, old man.

      • Impeach Biden

        June 20, 2024 at 10:45 am

        My boy Jay still wearing that “Feel The Bern” t-shirt and driving his Prius, probably still living with mom and dad.

    • PeterH

      June 18, 2024 at 1:57 pm

      Republican failure to address comprehensive immigration overhaul is responsible. It is now imperative! The USA currently has 8 million job vacancies ….. that the 5 million convicted felons are unable to fill….. employers will not hire convicted felons! We need more immigrants and fast. Forget about white EU resident immigrants ….. they want nothing to do with the USA’s lack of national healthcare and frivolous gun legislation….two more unsolved unaddressed Republican quagmires!

  • Michael K

    June 18, 2024 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for these details. Read carefully. It simply accelerates the exisitng process but does not automatically guarantee a green card. Read carefully: the applications will not be available until the end of the summer. This means the timing does not move quickly enough to allow anyone who may be eligible to vote in the upcoming November election.

    Congress has had ample opportunity to fully address all of these issues – including under leadership from Marco Rubio. (Remember when Reagan granted asylum as the humane thing to do?)

    But Republicans would rather bellyache and spread lies than actually do something. And of course, when they got everything they wanted, the convicted felon running for president told them to just vote no. Sad.

    • Tom

      June 18, 2024 at 2:13 pm

      If it takes more comprehension than reading a bumper sticker, I doubt many trump humpers will bother looking at the details. If a spouse has been here more than 10 years, why not bring them into the system and have them pay taxes and all that stuff republicans claim to want? Common sense really but hey, I guess that ship has sailed.

      • Ocean Joe

        June 18, 2024 at 4:07 pm

        Especially when it would eliminate a major opportunity by Steven Miller to split up families. Yes, he’ll be back to do and dream up Trump’s dirty work.

Comments are closed.


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