Another day, another slap in the face to immigrants. There are so many recent negative changes to talk about, but today I want to focus on the end of Military Parole in Place. This change is particularly painful as the granddaughter and sister of veterans and as someone who respects our service members and the sacrifices they make every single day.
What was Parole in Place?
Parole in Place (PIP) was created to ease the worry of deportation for certain family members of active duty or honorably discharged U.S. service members. A PIP approval from USCIS allows an individual who may have illegally entered the United States to remain as though they entered lawfully.
A legal entry is one of the requirements that someone must be able to show in order to get their green card in the United States. PIP created a great opportunity to legalize status for people whose only violation was how they came to the country. Without PIP, people would have to return to their home countries to get a visa - an expensive and stressful experience, if it was even possible (in some cases, the person would have to return home for ten years before trying to get a visa to return).
The Importance of PIP
PIP is a national security issue. Imagine you serve in Afghanistan and your Pakistani wife entered the US unlawfully as a child. Without PIP, she would have to go back to Pakistan to obtain her immigrant visa. She would be extremely vulnerable as the spouse of a US service member. How would you be able to focus on your job when you’re worried that your wife will be kidnapped or worse?
PIP also shows respect for our veterans and addresses potential special needs. Someone who served our country should have their spouse, parent or child deported for merely being in the US without inspection. How can our country demand that people put their lives on their line, but can’t give them peace regarding their family?
To the best of my knowledge, there is no exact date that PIP will end, but we know the end is coming within three to four weeks. If you have PIP, you are fine and can use it for meeting the legal entry requirement (though you can’t renew PIP). If you are the parent, child, or spouse of an active duty service member or veteran, talk to an immigration attorney as soon as possible to see if you’re eligible for PIP and apply while you can.