President Joe Biden's latest move on immigration has ignited a fierce political debate, drawing praise from Democrats and sharp criticism from Republicans. On Tuesday, Biden is set to announce a "parole in place" program aimed at providing work permits and protection from deportation to nearly 500,000 undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens. This announcement will be made during a ceremony commemorating the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, introduced by former President Barack Obama.

The new policy targets undocumented spouses who have lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years, offering them a pathway to work legally while shielding them from deportation. Additionally, Biden is expected to unveil changes allowing DACA recipients to obtain visas instead of temporary work authorizations.

This move comes at a crucial time as Biden gears up for a potential rematch with former President Donald Trump in the November election. Immigration policies remain a hot-button issue, with reactions to Biden's plan starkly divided along party lines.

In a post on Truth Social, Trump lambasted the plan, accusing Biden of granting "MASS AMNESTY to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens," and vowed to "SHUT DOWN THE BORDER and start deporting millions of Biden's Illegal Criminals" if he returns to office. Trump's campaign adviser, Chris LaCivita, suggested that there would be plans to register these migrants to vote, calling the move a political maneuver.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton criticized the timing of the announcement, calling it "a new low" for the administration. He linked it to the recent arrest of an undocumented migrant accused of murder, arguing that Biden's executive order limiting asylum-seekers was a "politically motivated sham."

Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller echoed these sentiments, accusing Biden of granting "unconstitutional amnesty" during a border crisis. Senator John Cornyn warned that the policy would act as a "huge magnet" for more illegal crossings.

Despite the backlash from the GOP, Democratic lawmakers have celebrated the announcement. Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Nanette Barragán expressed that the policy would bring "tears of joy paired with some sighs of relief" for affected families. Senator Alex Padilla described the move as "justice" that is "long overdue."

Mari Urbina, managing director for the progressive group Indivisible, praised Biden's decision as "smart politics as well as the right moral choice," highlighting the contrast between Biden's compassionate approach and Trump's hardline stance.

Biden Balances Border Crackdown with Immigration Relief

The announcement comes just weeks after the Biden administration implemented stricter measures on asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, which drew criticism from immigrant advocacy groups. Representative Jesús "Chuy" García (D-Ill.) hailed the new relief measure as "the most significant positive immigration policy change in the last 12 years."

The expansion of the "parole in place" program will provide undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens and adoptive children with a case-by-case assessment of their parole requests. Approved applicants will receive a three-year work permit and deferral from deportation, with the opportunity to apply for permanent residency.

The policy aims to streamline the process for undocumented immigrants to regularize their status without risking long separations from their families. An administration official explained that the goal is to avoid forcing applicants to travel abroad, where they could face mandatory waiting periods before reentering the U.S.

The administration estimates that around half a million non-citizen spouses and about 50,000 non-citizen children will be eligible for the program. However, many mixed-status families will still face challenges due to varying bureaucratic barriers.

Biden's move is also seen as a strategic effort to galvanize support from Latino and immigrant communities ahead of the election. Todd Schulte, president of the immigration reform advocacy group, praised the policy as "great policy and great politics."

Republicans, however, are already gearing up for a political battle. A pro-Trump super PAC, MAGA Inc., labeled the new plan as "amnesty." Rebecca Shi, executive director of the American Business Immigration Coalition, emphasized the broad public support for humane solutions for Dreamers and immigrant families, calling out the GOP's potential opposition.