Donald Trump’s recent immigration order, which effectively banned travel form seven Muslim-majority countries, has proven to have ever further reaching consequences. Consequences, which are now being felt by the families of deployed military personnel. The order allows for the wives, husbands and children of soldiers to be deported and barred entry alongside illegal immigrants.
Previously, military families were protected from deportation by the “Parole in Place” program: developed by the Department of Homeland Security in 2013, the program provided a reprieve for the family members of those who were actively serving their country. Those who engaged in criminal activities or had a record of doing so were not covered by the program.
Parole in Place was not only about safety and security. It was also about supporting those who fight for and protect the country’s freedom. Soldiers who constantly worry about whether their families will be deported are not going to perform their duties to the best of their ability.
Trump’s strict immigration order could result in family members being separated, which would have a weakening effect across the entire military. Soldiers are now hoping the administration will state that the Parole in Place program will remain law and be properly enforced. With Trump asking for $54 billion to be added to the defense budget, this point is more important than ever.