Who Makes U.S. Immigration Policy?

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 43

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Congressionally established immigration policy has certain narrow carve outs providing discretion to presidents. One of these carve-outs, "immigration parole", has been abused by presidents of both parties to admit hundreds of thousands of ineligible people from abroad, ignoring the intent of Congress and undermining the Constitution’s separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.

The Biden administration seems to want to parole in millions. Can presidents simply ignore laws passed by Congress and let into the United States anyone they want?

In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, George Fishman, the Center’s senior legal fellow with more than 25 years' experience in government, provides recommendations for how the courts or Congress can address the executive branch’s abuse of parole.

Jessica M. Vaughan, the Center’s director of policy studies, discusses the impact of allowing the mass entry of broad categories of beneficiaries. Categorical parole has allowed the Biden administration to essentially grant what Vaughan calls “green card lite” to illegal border crossers. These aliens can obtain a work permit, a Social Security number, and in some states, a driver’s license, which incentivizes illegal immigration.

In his closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, discusses the immigration implications of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, and responds to the accusations by the New York Times that Hungary and Poland are xenophobic for opening their borders to refugees from next-door Ukraine, after not welcoming refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and other distant lands.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Jessica M. Vaughan is the Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.

George Fishman is a Senior Legal Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.


The Pernicious Perversion of Parole

Don’t Mess with Texas


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".
Topics: Mexico, Asylum