[JURIST] President Barack Obama [official website] issued a memorandum [text, PDF] on Friday giving US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) [official website] the authority to “parole in place” the children, spouses and parents of active duty members of the armed forces, the selected reserve of the ready reserve and former members thereof. The American Bar Association [official website] describes parole in place [materials, PDF] as a process by which USCIS assists family members of US military personnel to become eligible to become permanent residents; typically, undocumented immigrants cannot apply for citizenship because under the Immigration and Nationality Act [text], which states that a person cannot adjust their immigration status to become permanent residents unless he or she has been “admitted or paroled” into the US.
This is the most recent development surrounding US Immigration Law [JURIST backgrounder]. Last month Obama signed into law [JURIST report] a bill granting special immigration status to Iraqis who have aided US forces. In September a judge in Washington state ruled [JURIST report] that local enforcement officers cannot extend detention of individuals to question them about their immigration status. In May the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] of Georgia reported [JURIST report] that undocumented immigrants face constitutional and human rights violations in Georgia detention centers. In September 2011 the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] ruled that immigrants who are imprisoned while fighting deportation cannot be held indefinitely [JURIST report] without a bail hearing and that the government must justify the need for the prolonged detention.