Customs, Border and Immigration News

Border Crisis: Biden’s Problem-Laden Parole System Has Drawn Over A Million Migrants To US

President Joe Biden’s expanded parole system has drawn over a million migrants alone to the U.S. since January 2023, federal data shows. Yet a major flaw has already been found within the administration’s parole pathway — an inability to track parolees’ status once they enter the U.S.

Roughly 460,000 migrants arrived in the U.S. on commercial flights after the Biden administration granted them parole, while another 630,000 sought parolee status at ports of entry through the CBP One mobile app, according to new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. Since 2021, Biden’s administration has granted parole for tens of thousands of Afghans despite there not being any system in place to actually track the migrants once they make it to America, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found in May.

The OIG report raises significant questions, including whether the administration keeps track of all those who have recently been granted parole into the U.S.

On Jan. 5 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new parole process for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans who have a “supporter” in the United States, also known as the CHNV Parole Process. Under this parole process, migrants are vetted and authorized to purchase airline tickets where they can enter the country and be granted parole. 

Also in that month, the Biden administration rolled out the CBP One mobile app, which functions as a scheduling tool in an effort to “incentivize noncitizens to use lawful, safe, humane, and orderly pathways processes.” DHS has encouraged migrants to utilize the app over “taking the dangerous journey to cross unlawfully between ports of entry.”

Over 630,000 migrants have scheduled appointments through the app since its implementation, with over 44,500 being processed in the month of May alone, according to the report. Most migrants being processed through appointments scheduled on the app are Haitian, Cuban, Venezuelan, Mexican and Honduran.

Prior to expanding its parole programs in 2023 to address the migrant influx, the Biden administration already greenlit a separate parole initiative for Afghans following the U.S.’ chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal in August 2021.

Through that program, known as Operation Allies Welcome (OAW), roughly 77,000 Afghans have been granted entry into the U.S., according to a recent report. A May 2024 report put together by OIG found that the federal government had no system to track the parole status of the tens of thousands of migrants.

Three DHS offices were responsible for vetting and facilitating the parole of these migrants, including the CBP, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), OIG found. However, the report found that none of these departments were properly monitoring the expiration of parolees through the OAW.

Since Biden entered office, over 6 million migrants have been encountered at the southern border, according to CBP data. There have been over 1.2 million “gotaways” — individuals who successfully evade border enforcement — between fiscal years 2022-2023.

Over the last three fiscal years, over 40,000 illegal migrants with prior criminal records have been apprehended, according to data from the CBP.

“Our enforcement efforts are continuing to reduce southwest border encounters,” Troy Miller, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner, said in response to the newly released CBP data Thursday. “But the fact remains that our immigration system is not resourced for what we are seeing.”

DHS and CBP did not respond to a request for comment.

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Rebeka Zeljko

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Rebeka Zeljko

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