Biden set to announce sweeping action shielding undocumented spouses of US citizens from deportation

President Joe Biden is preparing to announce sweeping executive action Tuesday that would shield select undocumented spouses of US citizens from deportation and allow them to work legally in the country as they seek citizenship, according to people familiar with the plans.

The policy would apply to people who have been living in the United States for 10 years, and would utilize an existing legal authority known as “parole in place” that offers deportation protections.

The election-year efforts have been long sought by immigration advocates and Democrats, and come after Biden earlier this month took restrictive steps to limit asylum processing at the US southern border.

The moves, which CNN first reported last week, could amount to the federal government’s biggest relief program since the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

That program, which allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to live and work in the country, was announced in mid-June of Obama’s own reelection year in 2012.

Biden plans to hold an event marking the anniversary of DACA on Tuesday, according to his weekly schedule.

The steps he is preparing to unveil also include a pathway to work visas for DACA recipients who meet certain criteria, a person familiar with the plans said.

Hundreds of thousands of people could be affected by the moves, with a reverberating effect among spouses, children, extended family and friends – and predominantly Latinos.

Biden previewed the new steps while unveiling the new asylum rules earlier in June.

“In the weeks ahead – and I mean the weeks ahead – I will speak to how we can make our immigration system more fair and more just,” he said.

Polling reviewed by top aides in the White House and the president’s reelection headquarters helped the administration finalize the plan.

For Democrats in some battleground states, the moves are encouraging.

For Biden in Arizona, “Everything is on the margins, right?” Democratic Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly said earlier this month. “My sense is it should help.”

CNN’s Isaac Dovere and Priscilla Alvarez contributed to this report.

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