Biden to celebrate DACA anniversary amid plans for new immigration benefits

White House considers extending deportation protections and work permits to spouses of U.S. citizens.

Biden to celebrate DACA anniversary amid plans for new immigration benefits
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Joe Biden is set to host a White House event next week commemorating the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era initiative that provided deportation protections for young undocumented immigrants.

The event comes as the Biden administration is finalizing plans to offer new benefits to other immigrants without legal status who have long-standing ties to the United States.

According to five people familiar with the deliberations, the White House is close to finalizing a plan that would utilize Biden's executive powers to shield spouses of U.S. citizens without legal status from deportation, grant them work permits, and streamline their path to permanent residency and eventual American citizenship, Newsmax reports.

These actions could be announced as early as next week, although a White House official emphasized that no final decisions have been made.

The administration is expected to use a process called "parole-in-place" to protect the spouses of Americans. This process not only offers deportation protections and work permits to eligible immigrants but also eliminates a legal hurdle that prevents them from obtaining a green card. Parole-in-place has previously been used for other groups of immigrants, such as members of the U.S. military or their family members who lack legal status.

The White House is currently focusing on a plan that would offer parole-in-place to spouses of Americans who have been in the country for at least five or 10 years. However, the actual number of people who could benefit from the president's plan is likely to be smaller than the estimated 1.1 million immigrants without legal status married to Americans, as calculated by the immigrant advocacy group FWD.us.

Advocates have also been pushing for the inclusion of benefits for immigrants lacking legal status who serve as caregivers for American family members, although this provision is considered less likely to be implemented at this time.

As the White House prepares to announce these potential new benefits, lawmakers have been invited to attend an event on Tuesday afternoon celebrating the 12th anniversary of DACA, which was created on June 15, 2012, by then-President Barack Obama to protect young immigrants who lacked legal status, often referred to as "dreamers."

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  • By David Menzies

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