Over 540,000 Aliens Illegally Paroled into the U.S.; More in the Pipeline
FAIR Take | July 2023
According to unpublished government data, the Biden administration has granted parole to more than 541,000 foreign nationals who do not have visas to enter the United States. The expansive use of parole is a key component of the administration’s policy of creating new “legal pathways” for migrants to enter the country.
There’s just one problem with this plan that the administration and nearly every journalist reporting on it conveniently overlook. This pathway is not legal. Through Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the U.S. Constitution, the founders of our republic vested Congress with plenary authority to “establish an (sic) uniform Rule of Naturalization…throughout the United States.” That means that the Executive Branch of government has no authority to create sweeping new immigration programs.
Congress did grant the Executive Branch parole authority. But that authority is very limited, and the conditions for granting it are clearly defined. Section 212(d)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states that parole may be granted “temporarily…only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.” That is language that might apply to 541 foreign nationals, not 541,000. Moreover, we know that the parole being granted here is not of a temporary nature, as required by statute. The Administration’s own regulations governing these new parole programs outright admit that the purpose is to allow these aliens to live and work in the U.S. until they can find a way to convert to a legal status.
Allies of the administration, like Leon Rodriguez who served as President Obama’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director, argue that the expansive use of parole authority is a “necessity,” because “the pressures are much greater now.” Of course, much of the pressure has been created by the administration’s signal that we would accommodate endless flows of migrants. And nowhere in the statute creating parole authority does it say anything about it being a mechanism to alleviate to pressure.
More alarming is that the Biden administration is only getting started on its abuse of parole to expand pathways for inadmissible aliens to enter the United States. Of the 541,000 who have already entered, 133,000 were people who used the CBP One app to schedule an appointment at a port of entry. That is a program that the administration began ramping up only in the past few months. The administration anticipates that as many as 529,250 migrants a year can be accommodated through the use of the app. That figure does not include the 360,000 a year that are allowed to enter under a special parole program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans. Yet another parole program, Uniting for Ukraine, which has allowed 141,200 people to enter, has no numerical limit.
If the combined entries of people using the CBP One app and the country-specific programs are maxed out, those numbers would actually exceed the 740,000 green cards issued through our legal immigration admission process in 2021 – thereby making a mockery of not only of our legal immigration system, but our Constitution.