Joe Biden
The proposal follows president Biden's controversial executive order to reduce migrant influx. AFP

President Joe Biden's administration is exploring a policy that would protect undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens from deportation and allow them to work legally in the country, according to a New York Times report.

The outlet quotes four officials, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity, who said no final decision has been made and that the specifics of the proposal were still uncertain.

The proposal was leaked to the press in the midst of a presidential campaign that has put migration at the center of the conversation and comes days after the Biden administration decided to issue a controversial executive order aimed at stemming the flow of migrants entering the country.

Biden's decision determines that once arrivals at the U.S. southern border reach an average of 2,500 per day over a seven-day period, officials will bar migrants from claiming asylum and deport them to Mexico or their home countries.

A move by the White House to improve the conditions for seeking asylum for undocumented immigrants with spouses in the U.S. could help Biden counter some of the criticism from his own supporters and solidify his position with immigrant advocates and Latino voters, the outlet highlighted in its article.

Migrant family
The proposal could also provide an easier path to U.S. citizenship for these spouses. website

"For those who say the steps I've taken are too strict, I say to you that — be patient," Biden said on Tuesday, the same day he launched the executive order.

A White House spokesman said on Sunday that the administration had been considering many options. "We remain committed to taking action to address our broken immigration system," he added in a statement.

Immigrant advocacy group Fwd.US said there are more than one million undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens living in the country.

"We are optimistic and working tirelessly to ensure that President Biden takes action to protect the long-term undocumented in our country," said Andrea Flores, vice president of immigration policy for the group.

"Doing so would fulfill his Day 1 promise to keep these families together," she added.

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