The Little-Known “Parole in Place” Immigration Option

The Little-Known “Parole in Place” Immigration Option

Ohio Family’s Plight Spotlights Little-Known “Parole in Place” Immigration Option

Ohio resident Juan Carlos Moncada is facing deportation proceedings, but that probably could have been avoided if the family had been aware of legal provisions intended to help the families of members of the U.S. military. Now that deportation proceedings are underway, Moncada faces an uphill battle. Unfortunately, like many eligible people, he simply didn’t know the program existed until trouble arose.

What is “Parole in Place”?

Immigration law allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to temporarily parole an alien into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. When this privilege is granted to a person who is already within the United States but has not been legally admitted, it is called “parole in place.”

Although the grant of parole occurs on a case-by-case basis, the Secretary may designate eligible classes for consideration. In November of 2014, the Secretary issued a memorandum stating that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant parole in place to the spouse, widow(er), parent, or child of an active duty member of the U.S. military, a member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, or an individual who previously served in either capacity and was not dishonorably discharged.

The grant of parole in place remains discretionary, but USCIS says that one of the listed familial relationships with a member of the military “weighs heavily” in the determination, stating that “Absent a criminal conviction or other serious adverse factors, parole in place would generally be an appropriate exercise of discretion for such an individual.”

Who is Eligible for Parole in Place?

Parole in place is not available to those who entered the U.S. legally but have overstayed their visas. However, parents, children, spouses, and widow(er)s of the same classes of current and past members of the military and Ready Reserve may be eligible to remain in the U.S. through deferred action.

What Happens When Parole in Place is Granted?

In this context, parole in place may be granted in one-year increments. Although a person who has been granted parole in place is not generally eligible to work in the U.S., work authorization may be granted if the parolee demonstrates economic necessity. Though parole in place is temporary, there is no limit on how many times the stay can be extended.

The Importance of Understanding Your Immigration Rights

It’s unclear how many undocumented residents of the United States would be eligible for the parole in place and deferred action programs, or other pathways to remaining in the U.S. legally. However, Moncada is not alone. Far too many people living and working in the U.S. without documentation or who are attempting to bring family members to the U.S. are unaware of the complex web of options that may be available to them.

The ordeal he and his family currently face might have been avoided if he had only been aware of his options and petitioned for parole in place before removal proceedings began.

If you or a loved one is currently undocumented, or you are hoping to bring a family member to the United States, don’t assume the worst. It is in your best interest to fully educate yourself about the options and protections that may be available to you.

Contact us and speak with an expert immigration attorney today!

The information presented in this post is not legal advice and does not form a lawyer/client relationship. Laws and circumstances can differ and change.
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