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Biden's New Policy Could Support 500,000 Undocumented Spouses

Couple laughing together

President Joe Biden has introduced a transformative policy to shield undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens from deportation. This initiative could grant legal status and work authorization to over 500,000 people who have been in the country for at least ten years.

To qualify, undocumented spouses must have been married and living in the U.S. since June 17. They will have three years to apply for permanent residency and a three-year work permit. On average, these individuals have lived in the U.S. for 23 years, with most originally from Mexico.

The Biden Administration’s Troubles with Immigration

Immigration has presented significant challenges for Biden, especially during this election year. By offering protection to long-term undocumented spouses, Biden aims to create a fairer and more equitable immigration system. These policies will benefit immigrants and married couples across the nation.

Polling data show that immigration remains a critical issue for voters as the presidential election nears. This new policy promises additional benefits for 50,000 minors whose parents are married to American citizens. It is the most substantial relief for undocumented migrants since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program during the Obama administration.

However, NumbersUSA, an advocate for stricter immigration controls, criticized Biden’s policy as an overreach of executive authority. They argue it implies amnesty for illegal immigrants.

This announcement follows Biden’s executive action to rapidly remove illegal entrants at the border once a daily limit is reached. The ACLU has sued the administration, claiming this limit violates US immigration law.

Biden has asked critics for patience, assuring that he will address and improve the fairness of the immigration system.

Policy Implementation

Biden has announced the policy will commence later this summer, highlighting widespread public support despite Republican opposition. The timing coincides with the 12th anniversary of DACA, which protected over 530,000 "Dreamers" from deportation.

The application process will begin by the end of summer. The Biden administration also plans to expedite visa processes for highly skilled undocumented immigrants, including those holding US degrees and job offers.

These changes demonstrate Biden’s efforts to balance the needs of both new arrivals and long-term undocumented immigrants, handling multiple aspects of a complex issue.

The Current System

Current rules place undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens in a precarious position. Existing policies provide limited protection, often requiring individuals to leave the country and apply for reentry. This process is marked by uncertainty and long wait times. These regulations can lead to detention and deportation, causing family disruption, emotional distress, and financial strain.

Biden's policy changes offer a straightforward path to legal residency and work authorization for many more individuals. It stabilizes their status by allowing those who have lived in the U.S. for over ten years to apply for a three-year work permit. Under the new system, immigrants can also pursue permanent residency within three years. This policy greatly expands protections, aiming to better integrate long-term undocumented residents into American society.

Seeking Legal Assistance

A good lawyer can help you apply under the new regulations. Immigration law is intricate, and a qualified attorney can provide tailored guidance.

An attorney can help you determine your eligibility, compile the necessary documents, and efficiently navigate the application process. They can also represent you in legal matters and keep you informed about policy updates. By seeking professional legal advice, you increase your chances of a successful application and meeting all deadlines and requirements.

If you are filing for any form of immigration, Panteva Law Group, LLC can help. Our team stays up to date with the constantly shifting immigration policies, and we can put our knowledge to work for you. To schedule time with our team, contact us online or call our office at (312) 471-0014.