The Protect Patriot Parents Act, a measure that helps illegal immigrants whose children serve in the U.S. military, passed Tuesday in the House.
U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, is the author of the bill, which makes parents of U.S. military service members eligible to adjust for Lawful Permanent Resident Status. The legislation allows those parents to apply for a green card.
The bill is intended to prevent the potential deportations of parents of people serving in the U.S. military.
The Protect Patriot Parents Act was approved as part of the Veteran Service Recognition Act of 2022, which now heads to the Senate for consideration.
“The families of our service members deserve our respect for their sacrifice, not deportation — and I am pleased to see that the majority of my colleagues in the House agree,” Rep. Carbajal said in a statement Tuesday. “I am proud that this measure is now headed to the Senate for its consideration, and I strongly urge my colleagues to act on this and other critical commonsense immigration reforms before the end of this Congress.”
Rep. Carbajal’s bill was inspired by the story of the Flores family in Goleta.
Juana Flores was deported to Mexico, despite the fact her son, Sgt. Cesar Flores, is serving in the U.S. Air Force and despite the fact Mrs. Flores has lived in the U.S. for 30 years.
“As a veteran and immigrant myself, I find it unconscionable that someone could step up to voluntarily serve in the military and be willing to sacrifice their life for our country only to have their family torn apart,” said Rep. Carbajal, who served in the Marines. “The Protect Patriot Parents Act will help shape an immigration system that is fair, keeps families together, and recognizes the positive contributions immigrants and their families make to our communities.”
“Bills like the one we approved today, in addition to others that I have co-sponsored like the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and the American Dream and Promise Act, which would codify the DACA program, have languished for too long and left too many families in limbo,” Rep. Carbajal said Tuesday. “We owe it to them to send these bills to President Biden before Congress adjourns at the end of this month.”