A group of Democratic senators have demanded the government not to end an official program whose goal is to prevent family members of soldiers of the Armed Forces from being deported because they are in the country on an irregular situation.
The claim, signed by a total of 22 legislators led by Senator Bob Menendez, was referred to the acting secretaries of the departments of National Security and Defense, Kevin McAleenan and Mark Esper, respectively.
The concern of this group of politicians is due to the recent publication of an article by public network NPR in which it was stated that the Administration is studying the possibility of ending the “Parole in Place” program (PIP).
“Through this program, the military can fight for the United States without worrying about their spouse, their children or their parents being deported while they are serving abroad,” the senators argue in the letter.
The PIP allows direct family members of the military (parents, spouses or children under 18) to carry out the legalization process within the country, exempts them from paying possible fines for being in an irregular situation and prevents their possible deportation.
The directive was established by the Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS) in 2013, under the administration of former President Barack Obama (2009-2017).
“Ending the PIP program would not only cause personal difficulties for our military and women, but would also negatively impact them in combat, and removing protections for military families is a direct threat to our military preparation and our national security,” the letter emphasizes.
Although military service does not guarantee access to citizenship, it can facilitate the process, so it is not surprising that, since 2001, citizens of 30 nationalities have enrolled in the Armed Forces, according to official data quoted by NPR.