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Biden will announce deportation protection and work permits for spouses of US citizens

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden plans to announce a sweeping new policy on Tuesday that would remove the threat of deportation for tens of thousands of people married to U.S. citizens, an aggressive campaign against immigration that many Democrats had sought.

Biden hosted an event at the White House to celebrate an event Obama-era directive that provided protection from deportation for young undocumented immigrants and will then announce the new program, according to three people briefed on the White House plans. The policy will admit about 490,000 spouses of US citizens a chance to apply for a “parole in place” program, which would protect them from deportations and offer them work permits if they have lived in the country for at least ten years, two of the people informed said. They all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the announcement publicly.

The White House declined to comment on the announcement on Monday.

Families who could potentially benefit from Biden’s actions were expected to attend the White House event Tuesday afternoon

Administration officials have for some time considered various options to provide protections for immigrants who do not have legal status in the U.S. but have long-standing ties — even after the White House issued a restrictive proposal that would essentially halt asylum processing at the border between the US and Mexico stopped.

Biden is calling on a known authority that will not only provide deportation protection and work permits, but also remove a legal barrier allowing eligible immigrants to apply for permanent residency and ultimately U.S. citizenship. It is a power already used for other categories of immigrants, such as members of the U.S. military or their family members who do not have legal status.

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“Today I talked about what we need to do to secure the border,” Biden said at a news conference June 4 event at the White Housewhen he issued his order suspending the asylum process for many migrants now coming to the US. “In the coming weeks – and I mean the coming weeks – I will be speaking about how we can make our immigration system fairer and more equitable.”

Biden was also expected to announce a policy to make recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program eligible for visas, instead of the temporary work permit they currently receive, two of the people briefed said.

In Congress, a Democratic group of lawmakers called the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has been calling for a policy that would make graduates of U.S. colleges who came to the country without permission eligible for work visas even as children.

The White House on Tuesday afternoon was scheduled to mark the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was created by then-President Barack Obama to protect young immigrants without legal status, known as “Dreamers.”

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