Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 30, 2019 – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and 27 other organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) opposing the discontinuation of a crucial immigration program for military families.
The letter, dated July 30, 2019, called on Acting DHS Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan, Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli and DOD Secretary Mark T. Esper to maintain the military Parole in Place (PIP) program to protect the undocumented spouses, children and parents of service members from deportation. The request came in response to recent news that indicated that the Trump administration was considering changes to the PIP policy for military families.
“When a U.S. citizen soldier on active duty marries a foreign national who is in the United States, that citizen soldier should not have to worry that their spouse may be targeted for removal,” said Stewart Rabinowitz of the Dallas and Frisco law firm of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. “The PIP program allows a soldier spouse to file for permanent residence without leaving the United States. It is a small thing that we can do for our soldiers who risk their lives in our defense. Why end [the program] and add stress to our uniformed men and women?”
The original aim of the PIP program was to minimize disruption to the lives of service members stationed abroad by ensuring they did not have to worry about their undocumented family members being exposed to the risk of deportation. Under the immigration policy, the spouses and dependents of military personnel are allowed to legally adjust their immigration status without having to leave the United States.
The letter asserted that the decision to maintain the PIP program should be a “straightforward” one for the government. AILA and the other signee groups pointed out the policy’s various benefits in terms of humanitarian grounds, the military preparedness of the United States and DOD recruitment efforts.
Some of the 27 organizations that signed on to the letter included Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Military Officers Association of America, National Immigration Law Center, VoteVets and West African Community Council, among others.
“A change in policy that results in the separation of military families will hurt the very individuals who have sacrificed their safety and security to protect the safety and security of our nation,” the letter concluded.
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