Biden Illegally Asserts the Authority to Parole 360,000 Inadmissible Aliens a Year
Faced with growing public anger over skyrocketing numbers of people crossing our borders illegally, the Biden administration decided it was time to act in January. Predictably, the action they took was not to strengthen border security or end the many incentives for people entering illegally. Instead, they opted for measures to conceal the true number of people breaching our borders.
On Jan. 5, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would allow the admission of 30,000 migrants each month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela under an assertion that the president has virtually unlimited power to parole people into the United States. He does not. The statute that grants the president parole power defines clear limits on that authority. It may be exercised only on a temporary, case-by-case basis and only under circumstances where there are “urgent humanitarian reasons” or “significant public benefit.”
The DHS program meets none of these criteria. Rather, it establishes an unconstitutional immigration channel for citizens of four nations that will continue in perpetuity for the sole purpose of making it appear that fewer migrants are crashing our borders illegally. The Constitution explicitly grants Congress plenary power to make immigration laws. The executive branch’s role is to implement and enforce immigration laws — a role it has willfully abrogated under this administration.
The scope of this extralegal program is staggering. The 360,000 migrants who will be admitted each year constitute more than one-third of the number of green cards issued annually under our statutory immigration system. When fully up and running, the number of people admitted under the Biden parole program will be more than double the number of employment-based green cards that are issued each year. They even created a mobile app to expedite the process.
The primary purpose of these illegal parole programs, which will continue in perpetuity, is to move 360,000 illegal entries a year off the books, as President Biden gears up for his re-election bid next year.
The administration’s abuse of parole authority did not go unnoticed in Congress. Two weeks after the plan was announced, a bicameral group of Republican legislators, led by Sen. JD Vance (Ohio) and Rep. Andy Biggs (Arizona), demanded the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas justify his department’s “reckless decision to radically expand immigration parole programs in the midst of an historic border crisis.”
Sen. Vance charged the Biden administration with attempting to “sidestep Congress and the law by granting parole to hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants. The American people deserve to know why the Biden administration has taken this action, and more importantly, what legal justification there is to support it.”
Rep. Biggs accused Sec. Mayorkas of failing to be truthful when he claimed that the administration was acting within the statutory limits of presidential parole authority. “Secretary Mayorkas testified under oath that parole is ‘judged on an individualized case-by-case basis,’ but I have seen no evidence to support this claim. Instead, his department is abusing the parole authority to mass-release hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens into the country.”
The group of ten Senators and 24 House sought FAIR’s support in this effort to hold Mayorkas and the administration accountable. In a press release announcing the letter to Mayorkas, FAIR’s Government Relations and Communications Director RJ Hauman noted that the abuse of parole was the next step in the administration’s relentless assault on any meaningful limits on immigration. “First, their goal was to stop all immigration enforcement. Now they seek to bypass existing immigration programs and simply create their own. All that is left for President Biden to do at this point is to order the border to be erased from the map.”