New Jersey residents who follow immigration news may be aware that U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 200,000 migrants at the nation’s southern border in September. Many of those migrants were Ecuadorians fleeing a country with a faltering economy and wracked by violent crime. The Biden administration has used programs based on parole authority several times to ease the pressure on the southern border, and the Department of Homeland Security confirmed on Oct. 18 that a new parole program will be introduced to help Ecuadorian migrants.
Programs based on parole authority allow migrants to enter the United States on a temporary basis for humanitarian reasons. Two sponsorship initiatives based on parole authority have allowed hundreds of thousands of migrants from Ukraine, Nicaragua, Cuba and Haiti to enter the United States, and the parole process is being used to process 1,500 asylum seekers st the southern border each day. A family reunification program is being introduced for Ecuadorians because their numbers have surged at the southern border in recent months. This worries officials because Mexico has eliminated visa-free travel to and from Ecuador, which means Ecuadorian migrants have to pass through miles of dangerous jungle to reach the United States.
Family reunification program
Ecuadorian migrants will qualify for the family reunification program if they are being sponsored for immigrant visas by relatives who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. These family members will be notified by the immigration authorities when their visa applications are approved. Their relatives in Ecuador would then be able to avoid immigration backlogs and quotas and work legally in the United States.
Initiatives like the Ecuadorian family reunification program are a form of humanitarian assistance because they offer people in war-torn or economically depressed countries a safe harbor. They also allow migrants from these countries to fly to the United States instead of making perilous journeys on foot.