The Center has recently reported that the Biden administration “paroled” more than 221,000 nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela into the United States under its “CHNV parole program”, plus nearly 226,000 others who applied for appointments at the Southwest border ports of entry using the CBP One mobile app. Add in 908,788 illegal entrants who were apprehended by Border Patrol at the U.S.-Mexico line but released into the United States anyway, and the total surges to nearly 1.4 million aliens with no right to enter the United States who will be living here indefinitely anyway, thanks to the Biden administration’s ad hoc illegal immigration system, which is completely divorced from Congress’s limits in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
“Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Border Enforcement Actions”. The White House laid out the administration’s plans to deal with the thousands of aliens who were expected to enter the United States daily once CDC Title 42 expulsion orders were lifted (which occurred on May 11) in a “fact sheet” captioned “Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Border Enforcement Actions”.
You can ignore any references to actual enforcement in that document (which have yet to really be implemented, as explained below) and focus on two paragraphs in the fact sheet that appear under the header “Expand Legal Pathways for Safe, Orderly, and Humane Migration” (itself a misnomer, but that’s beside the point).
CHNV Parole. The first of those “pathways” is the “CHNV parole program”, the name an abbreviation for the four countries whose nationals benefit from it: Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
As the fact sheet explains, it is an expansion of a parole program implemented in October 2022 for Venezuelan nationals, which allows them to enter the United States on two-year periods of parole, complete with the promise of employment authorization and, ultimately, access to government benefits.
Once the “C”,” H”, and “N” nationals were added to the “V”, the administration’s plan was to admit up to 30,000 aliens from those four countries to the United States monthly, ostensibly to curb efforts by those aliens to cross the border illegally.
That rationale doesn’t pass what my contracts professor described as the “smell test”, because nothing in the Biden plan requires the aliens who benefit from CHNV parole to demonstrate any intention to cross the border illegally. They can apply for that parole from any country they are in and just fly directly to international airports in the interior of the United States — which as my colleague Todd Bensman has revealed, more than 221,000 CHNV parolees have.
That is literally the same as trying to curb shoplifting by standing at the front of the store and handing out gift cards. Some who take the gift cards may have come with light-fingered intentions, but the rest are just receiving a freebie.
In any event, in FY 2023, the Biden administration allowed 232,863 inadmissible foreign nationals to enter the United States on CHNV parole.
Biden’s CBP One App Interview Scheme. The second major pathway is described in that January 5 fact sheet as follows:
Launching Online Appointment Portal to Reduce Overcrowding and Wait Times at U.S. Ports of Entry. When Title 42 eventually lifts, noncitizens located in Central and Northern Mexico seeking to enter the United States lawfully through a U.S. port of entry have access to the CBP One mobile application for scheduling an appointment to present themselves for inspection and to initiate a protection claim instead of coming directly to a port of entry to wait. This new feature will significantly reduce wait times and crowds at U.S. ports of entry and allow for safe, orderly, and humane processing.
I have deemed that plan the “CBP One app interview scheme”, and there’s a lot that’s non-factual in that paragraph, starting with the fact that the administration didn’t wait until “Title 42 eventually” lifted (which occurred, as noted, on May 11) — the scheme actually went live on January 18, 13 days after that fact sheet was issued.
In fact, Bensman revealed last November that CBP was allowing NGOs to use the app to schedule port appointments for aliens seeking exemptions from Title 42, a process the Center subsequently discovered dates all the way back to May 2021.
Nor does it appear that CBP requires any of those aliens “initiate a protection claim” to be paroled into the United States.
Asylum officers at USCIS are responsible for screening such claims, and not only is there nothing that suggests they have been assigned to the ports to consider whether the aliens being waved through under the scheme are eligible for asylum, but also — given the fact that 1,450 CBP One appointments are being scheduled each day — there is no way those asylum officers could handle the flow.
Counting both those aliens and the ones who scheduled their own port appointments using the app starting in January, 235,172 aliens were paroled into the United States under Biden’s CBP One app interview scheme in FY 2023.
That brings the total number of inadmissible aliens who had no right to enter the United States but who were allowed to enter on parole anyway in FY 2023 to 468,035.
“The Vast Majority of Individuals Will ... Be Placed in Expedited Removal”. In its January 5 fact sheet, the Biden administration promised that it would vigorously enforce the laws in exchange for its efforts to violate congressional limits in the INA via CHNV parole and the CBP One app interview scheme.
Specifically, that document states:
Effective immediately, individuals who attempt to enter the United States without permission, do not have a legal basis to remain, and cannot be expelled pursuant to Title 42 will be increasingly subject to expedited removal to their country of origin and subject to a five-year ban on reentry.
Briefly, expedited removal under section 235(b)(1) of the INA is a key tool Congress gave U.S. border and port enforcement officials back in 1996 to curb asylum abuses and speed the deportation of new arrivals who lack the documents they require to be admitted to this country.
That section of the INA allows CBP to quickly remove inadmissible “applicants for admission” (including illegal entrants) encountered between the ports and at them without obtaining formal removal orders from immigration judges. When properly implemented, expedited removal is exceptionally effective.
On May 11, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas doubled down on that White House expedited removal claim, vowing in a White House press conference announcing his department’s post-Title 42 plans that: “The vast majority of individuals will indeed be placed in expedited removal, and if they do not qualify, will be removed in a matter of days, if not weeks, from the United States.” That hasn’t happened.
In FY 2023, Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border apprehended just over 1.496 million illegal migrants whom it processed under the INA (in lieu of expulsion under Title 42). Just 177,630 of them — 11.9 percent of the total — were processed for expedited removal.
Moreover, of the 771,798 aliens apprehended at the Southwest border between May 1 and September 30, just 106,040 — 13.7 percent — were processed for expedited removal.
In other words, while the percentage of illegal Southwest border migrants DHS subjected to expedited removal rose slightly once Title 42 ended, not even one apprehended alien in seven has faced the prospect of expedited removal thereafter in FY 2023. For those who aren’t good at math, that’s far from “the vast majority”.
908,788 Border Patrol Migrant Releases in FY 2023 — 155,914 in September Alone. Instead, Mayorkas’ DHS released 908,788 aliens apprehended by Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border in FY 2023, or roughly 60.7 percent of the total processed under the INA. That includes more than 442,000 illegal migrants apprehended at the Southwest border between May 1 and September 30 (57.3 percent of the five-month total), which means that the odds an illegal entrant will be released is roughly 2.5 times as high as the possibility such alien would be subject to expedited removal.
The news only gets worse, however, because in September DHS released nearly 156,000 illegal migrants at the Southwest border — the single largest number of Border Patrol releases there in a single month, ever (the previously monthly high was in December 2022, when there were just over 140,000 releases).
A cynic would look at these figures and say the Biden administration isn’t actually trying to enforce the immigration laws at the border and was lying to the American people in its January fact sheet. Even in the best light, however, these statistics reveal that the administration’s efforts to create “pathways for safe, orderly, and humane migration” are not only failing badly, but actually making the illegal alien problem in the United States much, much worse, and degrading border security.
Keep in mind, those aren’t all of the border migrants that the Biden administration released last fiscal year, because that figure does not include aliens encountered by CBP at the Southwest border who were, in turn, transferred to and released by ICE. ICE statistics show that it booked in more than 183,000 aliens it received from CBP in FY 2023, as well as nearly 83,000 aliens originally arrested by its own officers and agents, and that the agency released more than 145,500 aliens it had been detaining last fiscal year. Those statistics, however, do not identify the original arresting agency for those released aliens, but it’s obvious that tens of thousands of them — if not the majority — had to have been first encountered by CBP at the Southwest border.
Make Room for 1,376,823 New Arrivals. Including foreign nationals who entered on CHNV parole, who were waved in after making appointments at the Southwest border ports using the CBP One app, and who were released after entering illegally despite the Biden administration’s promise to start enforcing the law, that brings the total number of aliens who have been allowed in even though they have no documents or right to come here to 1,376,823.
That’s more people than reside in seven different U.S. states, or just less than the population of Dallas, Texas (1,400,337), America’s ninth-largest city. Few if any have health insurance, and it’s questionable how many of them (1) have had the benefit of a formal education; (2) possess high-level job skills; or (3) have family in the United States who can provide for them.
Those are factors that the legal immigration system — the one Congress designed, not the one that the Biden administration is making up on the fly — looks for in determining whether would-be immigrants should be admitted to the United States. Part of that is based on the American principle of self-reliance, and (relatedly) part of it is to ensure that newcomers don’t burden state and federal treasuries after they arrive.
On average, just over 981,000 new immigrants obtained lawful permanent resident status in this country annually in the six-year period between FY 2016 (1,183,505) and FY 2021 (740,002). Look at the stats above and you will see that the administration’s parallel illegal immigration system beat that six-year average of lawful immigrants by more than 40 percent in FY 2023.
This massive surge in illegal migration — over and above Congress’ limits in the INA — will quickly become unsustainable absent significant tax increases or drastic cuts in government funding for public benefits, housing, education, and healthcare. By law, Congress, not the president, gets to decide who is allowed to come here and who must be kept out. It’s well past time that Congress reasserts that authority.