The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) announced new measures to reduce unlawful immigration, expand lawful pathways for protection, and facilitate the safe, orderly, and humane processing of migrants.

Among these measures, DHS is creating a new family reunification parole processes for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Colombia. The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas stated individuals would be able to apply for permission to join their families in the United States at regional processing centers. The government plans to open approximately 100 hubs across the Western Hemisphere, with the first ones starting in Guatemala and Colombia.

These centers will handle requests for family reunification parole along with applications for the U.S. refugee program and humanitarian parole for those deemed to be particularly vulnerable, which is decided on a case-by-case basis.

To qualify for the new family reunification parole, immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Colombia who have gotten approval of their Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) will be provided with advance travel authorization to come to the United States and complete processing of their immigrant visas in the U.S.

These individuals will be eligible to apply for employment authorization while they wait for their immigrant visas.

More information about this new family reunification parole is expected to be released in mid-June.

Likewise, DHS is also modernizing existing family reunification parole processes for Cuba and Haiti. These processes, once finalized, will allow vetted individuals with already approved family-based petitions to be paroled into the United States, on a case-by-case basis. The U.S. Government is expected to deliver timely authorization for those approved and vetted to travel.

These individuals would also be eligible to apply for work authorization while their immigrant visa petitions continue to be processed and completed.