The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security may, in his discretion, parole into the United States temporarily, under such conditions as he may prescribe on a case-by-case basis, for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit, any alien applying for entry to the United States.
Humanitarian Parole cannot be used to circumvent normal visa-issuing procedures, nor as an instrument to bypass preference immigrant visa availability or processing for refugee status. Absent urgent circumstances, unless all other legal immigration avenues (such as applying for a non-immigrant visa) have first been exhausted by an alien, parole will not be approved. Parole is an extraordinary measure, sparingly used to bring an otherwise inadmissible alien into the United States for a temporary period of time due to a very compelling emergency.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of designated countries (or parts thereof). In 1990, as part of the Immigration Act of 1990, Congress established a procedure by which the Attorney General may provide TPS to aliens in the United States who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.
Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA) – U & T Visas
On October 28, 2000, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 was signed into law. This law addresses issues of worker exploitation resulting from trafficking in persons. This law is the result of the federal government’s efforts through the Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force, an interagency group that brings the FBI, INS, Department of Labor and other agencies together to remedy a problem with both domestic and global dimensions, primarily involving women and children as victims.
A refugee is a person unable or unwilling to return to his or her native country due to a well-founded fear of persecution or because the person’s life or freedom would be threatened. To apply for refugee status, the applicant must be physically located outside the United States. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service the U.S. offers refugee protection “based on an inherent belief in human rights and in ending or preventing the persecution of individuals.”
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed by Congress in 1994, the spouses and children of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) may self-petition to obtain lawful permanent residency. The immigration provisions of VAWA allow certain battered immigrants to file for immigration relief without the abuser’s assistance or knowledge, in order to seek safety and independence from the abuser.
Political asylum is granted by the U.S. government to people who can prove that they are afraid to return to their home country because they have a “well-founded fear of persecution.” People may also be granted political asylum if they left their home country because they were persecuted in the past. If someone wins asylum, they can then apply for a “Green Card” (permanent residence).