The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new family reunification parole (FRP) process to help stem dangerous and irregular migration from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The plan is specifically for migrants from the four countries whose family members are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
The plan will provide migrants an opportunity to be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis for up to three years while they wait to become lawful permanent residents. Certain nationals of the specific countries who are beneficiaries of an I-130 Petition for Resident Alien Relative may be eligible for consideration of parole under the new process.
“These new processes promote family unity and provide lawful pathways consistent with our laws and our values,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The Department has proven that the expansion of safe, orderly, and lawful pathways, combined with strong enforcement, is effective in reducing dangerous, irregular migration to the United States.”
Beginning with the Department of State (State) issuing an invitation to the petitioning U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident whose I-130 has been approved, beneficiaries awaiting an immigrant visa could include certain children and siblings of U.S. citizens and certain spouses of children of lawful permanent residents.
The new process allows for parole “only on a discretionary, case-by-case basis, and the temporary basis upon a demonstration of urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit”. Paroled individuals will also be eligible to request employment authorization while they wait for their immigrant visas to become available. Once the visa becomes available, migrants can then apply to become lawful permanent residents.
“The Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security, in his discretion, to parole noncitizens into the United States temporarily on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit,” reads the statement issued by DHS. “The parole authority has long been used to establish FRP processes administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, including the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, which was established in 2007, and the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, which was established in 2014.”
Federal Register notices for Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras provide more information on the process and eligibility criteria.
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