Migration Group Questions Biden’s Parole Program
The clock is ticking on 1 million migrants (and counting) who have been allowed to enter the United States through a jerry-rigged parole program. Is anyone keeping track of them? The feckless, reckless Biden administration has given no reason to think so.
Even immigration enthusiasts at the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute see trouble ahead. Many parolees, according to a new MPI report, will simply remain in this country to join at least 16.8 million illegal aliens already here.
To be clear, parole refers to a method of entry, not legal status. Originally designed to admit individuals with specific special circumstances or deemed to be a “significant public benefit,” on a case-by-case basis, parole under the Biden administration has expanded to unprecedented levels, sidestepping customary asylum laws and congressional authority.
By executive fiat, new nationality-based parole privileges have been awarded to hundreds of thousands of Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans. Afghans and Ukrainians are also on the preferred list.
Though ostensibly designed for humanitarian purposes, the parole program as currently constituted does not screen for individual vulnerability. Nor is it equipped to vet national security risks.
MPI calls the liberal parole initiative “the most dramatic change under the Biden administration. In a departure from past practice, the administration has deployed parole not only for humanitarian reasons, but to simply channel more migrants through the system.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says migrants released into the U.S. on parole must still report to immigration authorities and claims that parolees undergo “strict national security and public safety vetting and are subject to immigration consequences and potential prosecution.”
But a federal court was not convinced, and temporarily blocked the program earlier this year. U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell noted that 41 percent of paroled migrants had failed to check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Of those that did check in only a fraction had been issued a Notice to Appear in court, which means that immigration proceedings against those aliens have not even commenced,” Wetherell stated.
Undeterred, DHS continues to parole thousands of migrants into this country every day. Touting its user-friendly services, the agency boasts that the CBP One mobile app “facilitated over 170,000 appointments” between January and June of this year. FAIR reported that an improbable 99 percent of migrants using CBP One obtained entry.
MPI points out that unlike migrants encountered between ports of entry at the southern border, those scheduling appointments through CBP One generally are granted one to two years of parole. Then what? Perhaps they’ll end up doing labor on the cheap (housekeeping, landscaping, cooking, etc.) for pro-mass-migration elites living in upper middle class suburbs and gated communities.
However shaky its legal foundations, Biden’s bloated parole program serves a crass political purpose: It blurs bad border optics by keeping migrant queues moving while excluding parolees from those inconvenient headcounts of encountered or detained illegal aliens. it also circumvents statutory limits on annual immigration to squeeze even more people into the U.S.
Parolees are technically “lawful” even when their grounds for being here may not be. In the context of immigration law, it’s important to remember that parole is not an adjudicated status. This administration’s open-ended scheme, combined with feeble interior enforcement, simply keeps kicking the can down the road, with no resolution in sight.
“As demand continues … the question remains whether [parole] incentivizes more migrants to head toward the United States,” MPI muses.
The answer seems to be a resounding “yes.”