This blog first discussed the possible cancellation of the program known as Parole in Place almost two years ago, expressing concern that its termination might be imminent. The program, which provides protection for military families against deportation, has been subjected to almost constant and varied policy threats since then.

In the last two months, high-profile news reports and even statements by presidential candidates continued to put military personnel and their families on high alert. The best advice from immigration attorneys has not changed. Get legal help immediately and work with attorneys to submit applications for Parole in Place as soon as possible.

Strong support for Parole in Place from many political leaders

Tammy Duckworth was born in Thailand and was an Army lieutenant colonel in 2004 when the Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was shot down by Iraqi insurgents, resulting in the loss of both of her legs. Fourteen years later, she became the first United States Senator to give birth while in office.

She’s been an outspoken critic of the Trump Administration’s threats to end Parole in Place, arguing that worrying about whether your family will be deported while you’re deployed puts the soldier and everyone around them in danger and decreases America’s military effectiveness. The letter she and 21 other U.S. Senators sent to Homeland Security and Defense argues for continuing Parole in Place for military readiness, sensible allocation of resources and respect for American values.

A program designed to reduce anxiety

An NPR report recently emphasized that the Parole in Place was put into effect during the Bush Administration for the military purpose of minimizing disruption and distraction to maximize personnel efficacy and readiness.

But according to current U.S. Immigration officials speaking to NPR, the program is “supposed to be used on a case-by-case basis when there is an urgent humanitarian need or a significant public benefit.” They emphasized that it’s a “discretionary option” and its protections are “available under rare circumstances.”

Contact an immigration attorney now and be prepared

Immigration attorneys have been strongly advising clients across the country to submit applications for the program. As the government has long violated its own procedures for proceedings, according the government’s own watchdog service known as the GAO, the best defense is to prepare as early and as thoroughly as possible.