The ABA Commission on Immigration and the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice hosted this webinar designed to offer reliable information surrounding lawful pathways to legal status in the United States. Recent developments have left people more confused than ever about how a person obtains a green card and becomes a United States citizen. There are pathways to legal status through employment, family reunification, humanitarian protection, and more, but given the limitations of these existing avenues, many people who desire to immigrate or adjust to lawful status simply do not qualify.
As a response to humanitarian crises around the globe, the Biden administration has come to rely on parole, a form of temporary admission, as a short-term solution to provide refuge in the U.S. While the administration routinely refers to these new parole programs as alternate legal pathways, parole itself is not a genuine alternative to permanent legal status—paroled individuals must qualify for some other more permanent benefit to remain lawfully in the U.S. long term. The question remains, why are millions of people who have lived in the U.S. for decades still unable to obtain permanent legal status? Where do parolees fit into the current immigration framework? How have procedures for asylum-seekers changed at the border after the end of Title 42 on May 11, 2023? Join us as our panel of experts cuts through this confusion, busting myths about lawful and unauthorized immigration, untangling the often-circuitous routes to legal status, and answering your questions about the ongoing challenges for increasing opportunities for legal status.