Pennsylvania Legislative Latino Caucus praises Biden administration executive order on immigration

New executive action protects immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens

HARRISBURG, June 18 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Latino Caucus today applauded the Biden administration’s executive action allowing certain undocumented spouses and children of United States’ citizens to apply for lawful permanent residency without leaving the country.

The action will provide legal status and protections for about 500,000 American families and roughly 50,000 noncitizen children of immigrants under the age of 21 whose parent is married to a U.S. citizen.

Under current federal law, an undocumented person who enters the U.S. and marries a U.S. citizen must first request parole before applying for legal residency. That process might require them to leave the country, upending their careers and families and creating uncertainty about whether they would be authorized to reenter.

PLLC members said today’s action allows those spouses to apply for residency without needing to leave the U.S., bringing hope and relief to hundreds of thousands in the country and here in Pennsylvania.

PLLC Chair Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., praised President Joe Biden for his action.

“Today’s executive action represents a significant step forward in the fight for a more fair and equitable immigration system. By protecting hundreds of thousands of our immigrant neighbors and their families, the president is reinforcing the principles of humanity and fairness,” Burgos said.

PLLC Vice-Chair Manny Guzman, D-Berks, stressed the need to keep families together.  

“I commend the president and his administration for his bold action to shield hardworking immigrants from the threat of deportation. This executive action reflects a commitment to keeping families together regardless of their immigration status,” Guzman said.

PLLC Secretary Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz, D-Berks, celebrated the protections granted to those pursing their dreams.

“The Biden administration’s action is a landmark decision that will have a profound impact on hundreds of immigrant families here in my district. Today’s executive action affirms the belief that every individual deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams without fear, Cepeda-Freytiz said.