President Biden's Policy Change Helps 500,000 Undocumented Spouses

President Joe Biden has unveiled a groundbreaking policy. It will protect undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens from deportation. This policy will provide legal status and work authorization to over 500,000 people who have lived in the country for at least a decade.

Eligible undocumented spouses must have been married and living in the US since June 17. They will have three years to apply for permanent residency, along with eligibility for a three-year work permit. On average, these individuals have lived in the US for 23 years, with most born in Mexico.

Biden’s Struggles with Immigration

Immigration has been a contentious issue for Biden, particularly in an election year. He recently introduced an executive action to curb the surge of migrants at the US-Mexico border.

By extending protection to long-term undocumented spouses, Biden aims to make the US immigration system fairer and more just. These new policies will benefit immigrants and married couples nationwide.

Polling data indicates that immigration remains a top concern for voters as the presidential election approaches. The new policy promises added benefits for 50,000 young people under 21 whose parents are married to American citizens. This change marks the most significant relief for undocumented migrants since the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.

However, NumbersUSA, a group advocating for stricter immigration controls, criticized Biden’s policy as an overreach of executive authority. They argue it sends a message that amnesty is available for illegal entrants.

Furthermore, this announcement comes two weeks after Biden's executive action to quickly remove illegal entrants at the border once a daily threshold has been met. The ACLU has sued the administration over this policy, claiming this threshold violates US immigration law.

Biden has asked critics for patience and promised to address the immigration system, making it fairer and more just.

Policy Rollout

Biden announced that the policy would take effect later this summer, emphasizing broad public support despite opposition from Republicans. The announcement coincided with the 12th anniversary of DACA, which shielded over 530,000 "Dreamers" from deportation.

The application process is expected to open by the end of summer. Additionally, the Biden administration plans to accelerate visa processing for highly skilled undocumented immigrants, including those with US degrees and job offers in their field.

These policy changes reflect Biden's attempt to balance the needs of new arrivals with those of long-term undocumented immigrants, addressing multiple facets of a highly complex issue.

How This Policy Changes Immigration Law

Under the current rules, undocumented spouses of US citizens face a precarious legal landscape. Current policies offered limited protection, often requiring individuals to leave the country and apply for reentry. This process is fraught with uncertainty and lengthy wait times. Furthermore, the current regulations could detain and deport spouses, disrupt families, cause emotional pain, and create financial hardships.

Biden's new policy provides a clear path to legal residency and work authorization for a broader group of individuals. It offers stability by allowing undocumented spouses who have lived in the US for over a decade to apply for a three-year work permit. Applicants will also have the opportunity to gain permanent residency within three years. This change marks a significant expansion of protections, aiming to integrate long-term undocumented residents more fully into American society.

Consulting with an Attorney

Consulting with an attorney can help you apply under these new rules. Immigration law is complex, and a qualified attorney can provide personalized guidance tailored to your situation.

They can help you understand your eligibility, gather necessary documentation, and navigate the application process efficiently. Attorneys can also represent you in any legal proceedings and keep you informed about updates or changes to the policy. By seeking professional legal advice, you increase your chances of a successful application, helping ensure that you meet all requirements and deadlines.

San Diego Immigration Law Office is here to help you with all your immigration needs. To meet with our team, contact us online or call our office at (619) 473-2506.