December 9, 2013
Facing intense pressure from immigrant advocates who want the president to do more to limit deportations, the Obama administration has quietly issued a directive to help undocumented immigrants who are closely related to military personnel stay in the country.
The effort is called “parole in place,” and it aims to end rampant confusion among immigration officials about how to treat the parents, spouses, and minor children of those in active duty as well as veterans and reservists. Under parole in place, these relatives no longer have to leave the country to apply for legal US status – a situation that often resulted in the applicants being barred from reentering the US for years.
The move follows a more sweeping decision by President Obama last year to defer deportation for some young immigrants who have lived in the United States illegally since they were children. With immigration reform having ground to a standstill in Congress, such executive-branch actions are seen as the only means for Obama to advance pro-immigrant policies, at least for now.