Talk about the Trump Administration ending Parole in Place (PIP) for military families is a hot topic and creating a lot of buzz in the immigration world. But, lets break it down. What is PIP and how will the end of it affect those who are swept under its protective umbrella?
What is PIP?
Parole in Place was established by USCIS to help eligible family members of past or current U.S. citizen members of the U.S. military to attain lawful permanent residence.
Why is it important? It is important because it allows for eligible family members who have entered the country unlawfully to avoid the trap of a 3 or 10 year bar when applying for lawful permanent residence or adjustment status. See, those who have entered the U.S. unlawfully (without permission of the U.S. Government) must complete his or her U.S. green card application via “consular process.” This is a fancy way of saying that the application must leave the U.S. and return to his or her home country to complete the green card process. The problem with this is that the application may be punished for his or her past unlawful presence in the U.S. via a three or ten year ban. Meaning, that a person will be prevented from returning to the U.S. for three years or ten years, depending on how long he or she stayed unlawfully in the country.
PIP avoids this potential ban by allowing eligible applications apply for lawful permanent residence (green card) without leaving the U.S. regardless of their past unlawful entry and stay.
Besides PIP, the route of provisional waiver is also available to those who have entered the U.S. unlawfully. But, a provisional waiver is tricky and uncertain because not everyone qualities or will be able to prove the level of hardship necessary to be approved for the waiver.
What does the end of the PIP program mean?
If Trump does away with PIP, then it will take away a viable avenue to obtain a green card for non-citizen family members of U.S. military service. It may also prevent such people from applying for a green card. However, time will tell if Trumps Executive Order for a blanket end to parole will sweep away Parole in Place for non-citizen military family members.