November 06, 2019

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Bill to Protect Undocumented Military Families from Separation

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) cosponsored legislation to protect service members and their families from deportation. Introduced by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), the Military Family Parole in Place Act of 2019 would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to require the Department of Homeland Security Secretary to grant parole to parents, children, spouses or widows of service members and veterans who were not dishonorably discharged.

“The brave men and women in uniform who call Nevada home shouldn’t have to live in fear of their loved ones being deported. This legislation upholds America’s tradition of protecting the families of those who put their lives on the line to protect our country. I’ll continue to stand up to this Administration to honor the service of all of our nation’s military families.”

In addition to Senators Cortez Masto and Duckworth, U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) also cosponsored this legislation.

BACKGROUND:

Since 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has used its discretionary legal authority to protect military families through the parole in place (PIP) program, allowing undocumented family members, such as parents, children, spouses or widowers of service members to remain lawfully in the United States in one-year increments. Public reports indicate that DHS is considering terminating this program. Ending PIP would leave immediate relatives of veterans and active duty service members vulnerable to deportation. Codifying this program through the Military Family Parole in Place Act of 2019 would encourage unified families and give military members peace of mind while serving.

Full text of the bill is available here.

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