Haitian CHNV Parole Migrant Arrested for Aggravated Rape in Massachusetts

Case raises serious concerns about White House schemes to funnel inadmissible aliens into the United States

By Andrew R. Arthur on March 16, 2024
Cory Alvarez

On March 14, Cory Alvarez, a 26-year-old Haitian national who entered under the Biden administration’s “CHNV” parole program, was arraigned in state court in Massachusetts on one count of aggravated rape of a 15-year-old girl. The case raises serious concerns about one of the White House’s multiple schemes to funnel inadmissible aliens into the United States — and confirms flaws the Center has previously identified in the program.

CHNV Parole. To slow a massive surge of Cuban, Haitian, and Nicaraguan illegal migrants at the Southwest border, the White House announced a plan in January 2023 to expand a parole program implemented the previous October for Venezuelan migrants to include nationals of those three countries as well.

The administration refers to the program as the “CHNV parole processes”, an acronym for Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and it allows up 30,000 nationals of those four countries to enter the United States per month (360,000 per annum) on two-year periods of “parole”.

By way of background, in FY 2020, Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border apprehended just 1,227 illegal entrants from Venezuela, 9,822 from Cuba, 4,359 from Haiti, and 2,123 from Nicaragua — 17,531 in total.

In FY 2021, however, Southwest Border Patrol apprehensions from those four countries increased more than ten-fold, to 181,000-plus, before skyrocketing to more than 600,000 in FY 2022.

Why did that massive increase occur, and more importantly, why didn’t the threat of expulsion under Title 42 dissuade those migrants from entering the United States illegally?

The Biden administration has almost categorically refused to detain illegal border migrants, even though the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires it to do so. Thus, the only consequence illegal entrants faced under Biden while Title 42 was in effect was expulsion under those CDC orders.

A key defect in Title 42 is that the Mexican government bears no obligation to accept back any nationals other than its own, and increasingly since Biden took office, it has refused to receive returning Venezuelans, Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Haitians. Just 12 percent of apprehended nationals of the four countries were expelled under Title 42 in FY 2021, a figure that dropped to 3.6 percent in FY 2022.

That put the administration in a quandary, as the U.S. government has poor-to-nonexistent diplomatic relations with Havana, Caracas, and Managua, and therefore lacks leverage to force those governments to provide the travel documents DHS needs to send their nationals back home.

Those migrants knew that once they were here, there was little our government could do to expel them, and that Biden wouldn’t detain them, so they came.

As for Haiti, the political situation there has long been uncertain and has only gotten worse of late as the country has descended into anarchy.

After receiving political blowback for expelling Haitian migrants back to that country following a massive surge of them into the border town of Del Rio, Texas, in September 2021, the administration apparently lost its appetite for any major returns to the Caribbean nation.

Again, the Biden administration could have — and should have — detained illegal migrants from those four countries pending adjudication of their asylum claims, which would have driven illegal entries down to their pre-Biden levels. Even with border security on the line, however, the administration refused to do so.

Of course, DHS’s notable inability to deport CHNV nationals back to their home countries raises the question as to why the administration is bringing in up to 360,000 of them annually for the foreseeable future.

The White House likely didn’t think that far ahead or care, particularly given that the program received little attention until national outlets began reporting on findings about CHNV entries released by my colleague, Todd Bensman.

Sponsors and Vetting. To make the idea of bringing an undocumented population roughly the size of New Orleans, La., into the United States annually more palatable, DHS made those entries contingent on two key conditions: first, that the applicant have a “supporter” in the United States; and second, that the applicant “undergo and clear” what the department described as “robust security vetting”.

If the only sources DHS can use to screen would-be CHNV applicants for “security” risks are U.S. government ones, and if the applicant has never been here, even the most hardened offender would appear to be as clean as a hound’s tooth.

Supporters can be anyone in any sort of status in the United States, citizens, green-card holders, temporary protected status recipients, asylees, or, as my colleague Nayla Rush recently reported, even other recent parolees.

What’s more, as USCIS explains: “Supporters can be individuals filing independently, filing with other individuals, or filing on behalf of organizations, businesses, or other entities”. (Emphasis added.) Slaughterhouses and massage parlors can thus be CHNV "supporters", making the entire program a prime opportunity for traffickers.

As for the vetting, the department has never been very clear about what exactly it does to ensure that criminals aren’t able to exploit the program, but realistically it can’t do much.

As I recently explained, the Venezuelan government is openly hostile to the United States, and thus has no interest in protecting the American people from criminal predation. The same is true of the governments of Cuba and Nicaragua.

With respect to Haiti, it presently has no government and thus there is no way for DHS to search its databases for criminal records.

Thus, the only sources DHS can use to screen would-be CHNV applicants for “security” risks are U.S. government ones, and if the applicant has never been here, even the most hardened offender would appear to be as clean as a hound’s tooth.

Cory Alvarez. Which brings me back to the alleged crime and the accused, Cory Alvarez. As always, he’s presumed innocent until proven guilty, but if the allegations against him are true, the offense is pretty shocking.

Fox News reports he “flew directly from Haiti to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City in June . . . and was sponsored by someone in New Jersey” for parole under the CHNV program. Alvarez, however, was not in New Jersey, and he did not seem to be receiving much support from his sponsor, either.

Instead, the crime allegedly occurred on the evening of March 13 at a Comfort Inn in Rockland, Mass., where both the accused and the victim were residing. That hotel, Time notes, was “designated as a shelter” for migrants last October, so he was apparently living there on the taxpayers’ dime.

As for the crime itself, CBS News reports:

Police said the person working at the front desk called 911 to report a disabled 15-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted. The victim, who speaks French Creole, told police through translators that Alvarez raped her in his room while she was getting help with an app on her tablet. She told police she told Alvarez to leave her alone but he didn't stop.

If those allegations are true, the question isn’t how Alvarez managed to evade DHS’s “robust security vetting”, but rather how many other criminals have managed to enter and offend under CHNV parole.

Note how I didn’t say “managed to exploit CHNV parole”, because one cannot exploit a process that is basically designed for abuse. DHS is fully aware that any vetting it does of would-be CHNV parolees is bound to be limited and perfunctory, at best, and all of the flowery adjectives it wants to use to describe such screening protocols won’t change that fact.

The same is true of the requirement for CHNV parolees to have a supporter in the United States. There is no way for DHS — or the whole of the United States government for that matter — to ensure CHNV parolees don’t fall immediately into distress and onto the dole, or to go after supporters for the public benefits those aliens receive.

By the way, as I have explained in the past, as a Haitian national who was paroled into the United States, Alvarez was also immediately eligible for Medicaid, food stamps, and cash assistance. When and if the media clues into that fact, advocates will say, “What’s the big deal? Everybody knew that.”

Whether or not Cory Alvarez is convicted of the heinous crime for which he is charged, this case raises disturbing questions about CHNV parole, a program built on promises the administration was never going to be able to keep.