WASHINGTON — Immigration advocates want to know whether a program blocking deportations of troops’ family members has been shut down as part of the White House’s crackdown on illegal immigration.
“This president’s rushed and ill-considered executive orders may have, intentionally or inadvertently, removed those protections,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, and a key voice on border security issues for his party.
“It’s common decency and common sense: how could a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine focus on their duty, when their spouse or child could be deported at any time?”
Department of Homeland Security officials haven’t announced whether the “Parole in Place” program — instituted in November 2013 as a military readiness initiative — has been affected by recent executive orders issued by President Donald Trump.
On Tuesday, DHS officials released a series of implementation plans for those orders, including a statement asserting that “the lawful detention of aliens arriving in the United States and deemed inadmissible … is the most efficient means by which to enforce the immigration laws at our borders.”
Enforcing that includes hiring new agents to “detect, track, and apprehend all aliens illegally entering the United States,” with discretion for DHS officials and judges to grant exceptions for some foreign nationals. It specifies that parole programs should be “exercised sparingly.”