Utah senator Mike Lee on Thursday argued that, contrary to the claims of the Obama administration, the president’s executive amnesty contains a loophole that would provide a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 4 million illegal-immigrant parents of U.S. citizens.
“He and his administration have cleared the pathway to citizenship for millions of people who have crossed into our borders illegally,” Lee said. “They know that that’s what they have done, and it is illegal.”
Those currently the present in the U.S. illegally who would otherwise be eligible for a green card, including the parents of U.S. citizens age 21 and up, are required by law to leave the country for a period of three or ten years and then to reenter the country lawfully. According to Lee, the executive action made illegal immigrants with children who are U.S. citizens eligible for something called advance parole, which expedites their reentry into the country and, in Lee’s words, “will treat you as though you never left at all” — that is, the three- or ten-year punishment for entering the country illegally will never be triggered.
Lee concluded that illegal immigrants in this group who leave the country and reenter using advance parole “will suddenly become eligible to take advantage of a different way to become a citizen, getting what’s known as adjustment of status. Adjustment of status, which gets you a green card without having to leave the country, is available to parents of U.S. citizens so long as they crossed our border lawfully, which advance parole lets them do.”