- Migrants applying to receive humanitarian parole in the U.S. can be in a safe third country before they apply, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
- President Joe Biden announced the beginning of the program in January to allow migrants from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Haiti to qualify for the program if they have a sponsor in the U.S. after record encounters at the southern border.
- “Our clients, some of them, they just arrived to a third country. Let’s say they buy a plane ticket,” Immigration attorney Maria Herrera Mellado told the DCNF, adding “It happened. They just happen to be in the Dominican Republic or [on a] short vacation.”
A massive loophole exists in the Biden administration’s latest program to admit certain migrants into the U.S. has a massive loophole that allows for applicants to be in another safe country before when they apply, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
President Joe Biden announced in January the process for Haitians, Cubans, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans to apply for humanitarian parole as illegal immigrants from those countries surged the border. Immigration attorney Maria Herrera Mellado told the DCNF that she’s had clients approved for the program while in safe third countries, and one from Venezuela who has a pending application while vacationing in Mexico. (RELATED: Biden’s Border Admissions Program Is Leading To Family Separations)
“Our clients, some of them, they just arrived to a third country. Let’s say they buy a plane ticket,” Herrera Mellado told the DCNF, adding “It happened. They just happen to be in the Dominican Republic or [on a] short vacation.”
“At the end of the day, a lot of people who are coming here are not the ones who are in great need to come here. They happened to be in another country and they have a wealthy immediate relative,” she said.
Former acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan believes the loophole is illegal, he told the DCNF.
“You could be anywhere and still apply for parole, even though they’re in a safe third country, which is yet another example of why we say this is a perversion, violation of the law that they’re using as a shell game to claim victory that they’re addressing the crisis,” Morgan said.
The revelation comes as the Biden administration plans to implement a rule disqualifying migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. who already passed through other countries deemed to be safe to reside.
If Venezuelan, Cuban, Haitian or Nicaraguan migrants cross illegally into the U.S., they will be expelled immediately under Title 42, a Trump-era public health order used to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The new process requires that the parolees have a sponsor in the U.S. to support them financially for the two years they’re allowed live in the U.S.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment to provide data on how many parolees have been in safe third countries. The agency’s website, however, does state that it is a disqualifier if a parole applicant is a resident, dual national or refugee of another country, but not so if you are the immediate family member of a Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, or Venezuelan and you are living in another country.
“An individual is ineligible to be considered for parole under these processes if that person is a dual national or permanent resident of, or holds refugee status in, another country, unless DHS operates a similar parole process for the country’s nationals. This requirement does not apply to immediate family members (spouse, common-law partner, or unmarried child under the age of 21) of an eligible national of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, or Venezuela with whom they are traveling,” USCIS states on its website outlining the parole guidelines.
Herrera Mellado, however, believes there are exceptions to that rule, which allows for 30,000 migrants from the four applicable nationalities to receive parole each month, which USCIS will likely grant.
“I’m pretty sure we’re going to get lots of people now with that situation. People either claim they have a second nationality. And how is this government gonna know that they don’t?,” she said.
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