Immigration program introduced by President Biden under critique by House Republicans

 March 9, 2024

In an unprecedented move, a cohort of House Republicans has cast a spotlight on a Biden administration program that they claim has significantly exacerbated the United States' migration dilemma.

A contentious program that has facilitated the entry of over 320,000 migrants into the United States without illegal border crossings is now under scrutiny by House Republicans.

The initiative in question was introduced by the Biden administration in January 2023, aimed at addressing the surging crisis at the US-Mexico border. It allows for the monthly entry of 30,000 asylum seekers from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, contingent upon passing a background check and having a US sponsor.

A Bold Request from House Republicans

Leading the charge is Rep. Russell Fry (R-SC), joined by 22 of his colleagues, who have directed their concerns to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) acting director Troy Miller. Their letter, penned in the aftermath of the State of the Union address, demands a halt to what they describe as a "secretive" program.

This program has notably admitted over 320,000 migrants from Latin American airports to 43 different cities across the United States. The Republicans' concern is that this action has not only compounded the existing migration crisis but has also done so under a veil of secrecy, with the American public left in the dark about the destinations within the US where these migrants have been placed.

Exacerbating the Southern Border Crisis

The letter from the House Republicans articulates grave concerns over the Biden administration's strategy of facilitating what they term as the transport of illegal immigrants into the country. They argue that these measures have significantly intensified the crisis at the Southern Border.

Furthermore, the Republicans are demanding detailed information regarding the government's expenditure on this program, the personnel involved, and the exact locations within the United States where these migrants are being settled.

Response and Context from the Biden Administration

In his annual address to Congress, President Biden proposed a solution to reduce asylum processing times drastically, from the current span of six to eight years to a mere six weeks. This proposal is part of a broader strategy to manage the US-Mexico border crisis more efficiently.

The parole program, since its inception, has facilitated the entry of 327,000 asylum seekers, a number slightly exceeding the initial claims. These individuals, coming from the specified Latin American countries, undergo processing through the CBP One cellphone app, which is also utilized for family reunification programs.

The Staggering Numbers Behind Migration

December saw more than 302,000 arrests for illegal entries from Mexico, setting a new monthly record. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has revealed that over 85% of those detained for illegal border crossings end up being released into the US.

The backlog in asylum processing is so severe that the timeline for adjudication could stretch to nearly a decade. In fiscal year 2023 alone, around 2.5 million people were apprehended for illegally crossing the US-Mexico border, with an additional estimated 670,000 individuals eluding capture.

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