Central Valley Nonprofits Host Press Conference on Recently Announced Immigration Policy

FRESNO, CA – Multiple local nonprofits convened at the Robert E. Coyle Federal Building in Downtown Fresno on Thursday, June 20 at 11 a.m. for a press conference focused on a newly announced policy that would allow noncitizen spouses and children of U.S. citizens to apply for work permits and be shielded from deportation if they have lived in the country for at least 10 years.

The event came in response to the Biden administration’s June 18, 2024 announcement of an expansion of the existing “Parole in Place,” or PIP, program. When granted, PIP enables individuals who do not have status and are living in the U.S. to receive work authorization and protection from deportation for a period of time – in this case, three years – during which the individual has the opportunity to apply for a green card.

Previously PIP was in place only for noncitizen spouses of active-duty or retired military personnel, but this expansion means that approximately 500,000 spouses of U.S. citizens and 50,000 noncitizen children, including stepchildren, under the age of 21 would qualify for some protection. This change enables families to stay together while going through the green card process, rather than require any individual family member to leave the U.S. and assume the risk that comes with that in order to pursue admittance.

According to the released general eligibility criteria, to be eligible for PIP applicants must:

  • Be present in the U.S. without admission or parole
  • Have been present in the U.S. for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024
  • Be legally married to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024
  • Have no disqualifying criminal history nor be a threat to national security or public safety.

There is no application process for this expansion of PIP yet, and all potential applicants must wait until U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues more information on the process before applying. There is also the possibility that a lawsuit or a change in administration could halt implementation of this program or lead to its termination afterward.

It may take several weeks or months for further information from USCIS; until the application process is announced, individuals are encouraged to wait to send an application and not to pay anyone to submit an application on their behalf or to be put on a waitlist. If potential applicants want to be prepared, they can spend this time gathering necessary evidence confirming eligibility criteria.

The press conference featured representatives from organizations including:

Together, these organizations provided an overview of the policy, discussed the advocacy and service efforts being done locally that impact and will be impacted by this policy, and shared what this means for noncitizens in our community moving forward.

Did you miss the press conference? Watch the Facebook Live video on CVIIC’s social media page: https://fb.watch/sQrIK0LWNs/

Do you want to learn more about the policy? Watch representatives from Centro La Familia’s Immigration Services Department and other local nonprofits analyze it on CVIIC’s social media page: https://fb.watch/sQrMWQMo01/