Work Authorization Expansion: Attracts and Embeds Illegal Immigrant Population in U.S. Society

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 124

By Mark Krikorian and Elizabeth Jacobs on September 28, 2023

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Listen to "Work Authorization Expansion: Attracts and Embeds Illegal Immigration Population in U.S. Society" on Spreaker.


In this week’s podcast, the Center for Immigration Studies highlights the expansion of work authorization for newly arrived migrants and those who have entered the country illegally. Work permits are an often-ignored part of the discussion on immigration policy but are a major pull factor for immigrants looking to come to the United States illegally.

In this episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Elizabeth Jacobs, the Center’s Director of Regulatory Affairs and Policy, explains the importance of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and sheds light on how the Biden administration has exploited loopholes in immigration law to prioritize the issuances of EADs to migrants over visa holders.

Jacobs also breaks down the recent Biden administration reforms which are aimed to expand work authorization eligibility even further, strengthening the job magnet that attracts illegal immigration. DHS has announced it will:

  • start issuing EADs to migrants who are paroled into the United States that will be valid for five years, a three-year increase to current policy;
  • renew the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) of Venezuelan nationals who arrived by March 8, 2021;
  • extend TPS eligibility to Venezuelan migrants who arrived by July, 31, 2023 (an estimated 472,000 will be newly eligible, potentially bringing the population to over 700,000 individuals);
  • accelerate applications for work permits filed by parolees who scheduled their entry through the CBP One app starting October 1, 2023. They will be prioritized over other categories, raising serious questions of policy and fairness.

Mark Krikorian, the Center’s Executive Director and host of the podcast, points out, “Work permits root individuals into American society in a way that working illegally does not. It provides access to Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses, serving as a significant step toward a full amnesty. The Biden administration’s large-scale expansion of work authorization for those who enter the country illegally deserves more attention from the media and Congress.”


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


Elizabeth Jacobs is the Director of Regulatory Affairs at the Center for Immigration Studies.


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DHS Creates Yet Another Parole Program for Aliens to Cut in Line


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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".