Biden's border policy uses humanitarian parole to legitimize illegal immigration while increasing costs for legal immigrants. His newest executive order advocates expanding funding and programs for asylum seekers and refugees. The executive order begins with stern rhetoric for those seeking to cross illegally. Still, in reality, this administration is implementing expanded pathways and pretending his new rules constitute legal entry. In truth, there has been very little enforcement of immigration laws during his tenure. Biden says he will implement consequences like expedited removal for unlawful entry in his EO. However, he fails to mention that expedited removal has always been an available tool; one he and his DHS have rarely used.
Andrew Arthur with the Center for Immigration Studies(CIS) explains the nuances of the expedited removal process:
"Expedited removal is exactly what it sounds like: A fast-track process by which aliens who have no documents allowing them to be admitted (including illegal entrants) are quickly removed."
The hiccup in the process is that those who "assert fear of harm" are funneled into the asylum process. In that process, "an asylum officer from USCIS to determine whether they have a "credible fear" of persecution." And, as Arthur further elucidates:
"That defect would not be fatal were it not for a decision made under the Obama administration in December 2009 to release on parole aliens who had received positive credible fear determinations from an asylum officer. That directly contravened a requirement in section 235(b)(1) of the INA that aliens subject to expedited removal be detained from the moment that they are apprehended until they are either granted asylum or removed."
When Obama opened that floodgate for aspirational migrants, many began to claim "credible fear" even when their claims didn't legally fit the bill. News of the relaxed criteria spread like wildfire in migrant communities. In 2010, according to CIS, only 5 percent claimed credible fear. In 2008 it rose to 81 percent. By the time Trump took office, "44 percent of aliens subject to expedited removal were claiming credible fear, a figure that climbed to 48 percent of the more than 178,000 aliens in expedited removal proceedings by FY 2018. Trump, at that point, could not detain the more than 65,000 aliens who had received positive credible fear determinations, and so he could not reverse the Obama-era release policy." Those high numbers of asylum grantees were the main reason Trump implemented MPP, more commonly known as the Remain in Mexico program.
Biden Using Humanitarian Parole to Legitimize Illegal Immigration
The Biden administration's creative use of humanitarian parole has already allowed thousands of asylum seekers to cross the border and settle down in the U.S. Record numbers of illegal aliens are being sponsored to gain access to the U.S. They are settling in cities big and small; and in many cases, creating financial burdens and havoc for many localities. Many are now enjoying free services, aid, grants, education, and jobs, all at the expense of the American taxpayer. Mayor Eric Adams in New York, a sanctuary city, said, "there is no more room at the inn" after Colorado announced plans to ship migrants to Chicago and New York.
Under the Jan. 5 executive order, humanitarian parole will be further expanded. Biden plans to "extend the successful Venezuela parole process and expand it to nationals of Nicaragua, Haiti, and Cuba." He will allow "up to 30,000 individuals per month" from the four countries. Anyone crossing the Panama, Mexico, or U.S. border "irregularly" will be "subject to expulsion to Mexico." Mexico has agreed to accept returns of 30,000 individuals monthly from the four countries.
According to CIS.org, the Biden administration has already given humanitarian parole to more than 1 million people and "continues to hand it out to probably more than 150,000 a month crossing illegally, sending about 35 percent back to Mexico under court-ordered Title 42 or other authorities." Some experts question the legality of Biden's "perversion" of humanitarian parole.
Refugee resettlement will also be tripled, according to the new plan. The administration plans to "welcome up to 20,000 refugees from Latin American and Caribbean countries during Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024." In Biden's own words, this plan will "scale up refugee admissions from the Western Hemisphere."
Biden also announced the launch of an online appointment portal called CBP One. However, the program was first launched in 2020. The program features a mobile application that allows for easy scheduling of inspection appointments and claims for protection. Biden believes this border policy will "significantly reduce wait times and crowds" at the border. Immigrants are being "pre-approved" in Mexico as a part of DHS' updated "6 pillar plan" to manage the potential uptick in border crossings when Title 42 is lifted.
Arthur wrote an excellent summary of Biden's border policy for CIS. He says Biden is "attempting to hide the scope of the border disaster by playing a shell game." He is correct. Arthur explains:
"The administration claims that this plan will allow aliens 'to enter the United States lawfully through' those ports of entry, but in reality 'entering' without a visa through a port of entry is as 'illegal' as crossing the border without a visa between the ports of entry, regardless of whether you have an appointment to do so."
$23 million is earmarked for "additional humanitarian assistance in Mexico and Central America." The funds will "help support shelter, health, legal assistance, mental health, and psychosocial support, water, sanitation, hygiene products, gender-based violence response, livelihoods, other protection related activities, and capacity building for partners."
In recognition of the horrible issues with human smuggling at the border, Biden says he will continue his "first of its kind" operation in Los Angeles called the "Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection," announced in June 2022. Additional commitments to the operation were announced in September. Those commitments include increased funding for the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, doubling seasonal labor visas, relaunching the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP), resumption in "early 2023 of full immigrant visa processing for the first time since 2017," significantly expanded refugee resettlement, and "over 5,000 arrests in five months" related to human smuggling.
In his speech on Wednesday, he bashed House Republicans for not accepting his most recent plan to increase funding by $3.5 billion for the border to include 2000 additional asylum personnel in its first pass in December. Title 42 will remain for the time being because of Justice Roberts' temporary hold on its termination. Biden has plans to visit El Paso on Sunday, his first border visit as President.