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Biden Administration Considers Protections for Undocumented Spouses of U.S. Citizens

Posted by Paul Saluja | Jun 11, 2024

In a significant potential shift in U.S. immigration policy, the Biden administration is weighing a plan to protect undocumented immigrants who are spouses of U.S. citizens from deportation and grant them access to work permits. According to sources familiar with the discussions, this initiative is part of a broader effort to address longstanding issues within the U.S. immigration system.

"Parole in Place" Program

The proposed program, known as “parole in place,” aims to provide undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens with temporary protection from deportation. This initiative would also facilitate the process for these individuals to obtain green cards and, eventually, U.S. citizenship. While the details and timing of the proposal are still under discussion, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been briefed on its potential implications.

White House Stance

A White House spokesperson refrained from commenting on the specifics of the proposal but reiterated the administration's commitment to exploring various policy options to address the complexities of the immigration system. "As we have said before, the administration continues to explore a series of policy options and we remain committed to taking action to address our broken immigration system,” the spokesperson said.

Political and Social Context

The discussions around this proposal come at a time when immigration advocates and Democratic lawmakers are urging the administration to prioritize solutions for long-term undocumented immigrants. Additionally, President Biden is seeking to engage Latino voters in key battleground states such as Nevada and Arizona.

Last week, Biden announced an executive action aimed at tightening asylum restrictions outside legal ports of entry. This new policy stipulates that whenever the seven-day average of illegal border crossings exceeds 2,500, migrants entering the U.S. between legal ports of entry will generally be barred from claiming asylum and will face deportation, though there are questions about the feasibility of this action without new congressional funding.

Future Prospects

Biden hinted at further immigration-related initiatives, stating, “In the weeks ahead, I'll speak to how we can make our immigration system more fair and more just. Let's fix the problem and stop fighting about it.” If adopted, the protections for undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens could become the most substantial immigration relief program since the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, which allowed immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to remain in the country.

Criticism and Support

The Biden administration's immigration policies have drawn criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. Republicans argue that the recent asylum restrictions are insufficient, while some Democrats view them as a betrayal of Biden's 2020 campaign promise to implement more humane border policies. The administration has faced significant challenges, with nearly 10 million undocumented migrants crossing the southern border during Biden's tenure. Earlier this year, a sweeping bipartisan border security bill, supported by the White House, was blocked by congressional Republicans.


The potential introduction of the "parole in place" program reflects the Biden administration's ongoing efforts to address complex immigration issues. By protecting undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens and granting them work permits, this proposal could provide significant relief to many families and mark a critical step toward a more just and fair immigration system.

At Saluja Law, we remain committed to advocating for fair and humane immigration policies. We will continue to monitor developments on this proposal and provide updates on its progress. For those affected by immigration policies and seeking legal assistance, our team is here to help navigate these challenging times.

About the Author

Paul Saluja

Paul Saluja is a distinguished legal professional with over two decades of experience serving clients across a spectrum of legal domains. Graduating from West Virginia State University in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, he continued his academic journey at Ohio Northern University, gr...

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