“Parole” to legalize immigrant status in budget reconciliation bill

This is a very brief summary of the parole provision in the reconciliation bill. Parole is a provision in immigrant laws to be used generally for designated populations to obtain legal status in the U.S. outside the main channels of immigration. Go here for my major source.

This is one-sided immigration reform: legalization of most unauthorized persons without imposing mandated e-verify. 

The parole protections in the bill would shield immigrants from deportation for five years and provide a five-year, renewable work authorization, available to anyone illegally in the country before January 1, 2011.

There are about 10 – 11 million unauthorized persons in the U.S. today. The tenure of unauthorized persons in the U.S. has lengthened considerably in the past 20 years, after the surge in late 1990s – early and mid 2000s. Thus this parole provision will have an tremendous impact. About seven million immigrants would be eligible for the work-authorization program, according to an estimate from the Migration Policy Institute.

The provision does not include access to green cards, although some ways will be available for some beneficiaries to obtain green cards.

Parole has been used the past in 1956, for refugees from the Hungarian Revolution, for Cuban refugees in 1960, for the Mariel boatlift in 1980s. There is no notable use of Parole for persons already in the U.S.

Also go here for a highly critical article by the Center for Immigration Studies.

The Congressional Research Service analyzed the Parole provision in depth in 2020.

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