EXCLUSIVE: Biden Admin Offers Parole, Possible Work Permits Some for Migrants

by RANDY CLARK 8 Nov 2021

The Biden Administration enacted a new release policy for migrants which will grant parole status in the two busiest southwest Border Patrol sectors. The program, known as Parole + ATD (Alternatives to Detention), will allow agents in the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio to swiftly release migrants and divert them from overcrowded detention centers.

Breitbart Texas reviewed the policy document authored by Raul L. Ortiz, Chief of U.S. Border Patrol, dated November 2, 2021. The document was provided by a source within the Department of Homeland Security, not authorized to speak to the media. The document provides guidance to Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agents outlining the conditions for parole and release into the United States.

The process bypasses the placement of migrants into formal removal proceedings through the issuance of a Notice to Appear (NTA) and the scheduling of an immigration hearing. Under the protocol, released migrants are to report to ICE within 15 days for the issuance of the NTA.

The source says the Biden administration is placing more thought and time into methods to release migrants into the United States rather than expanding options for removal.

The source explained that when parole was granted in the past, it was usually to allow an informant to participate in a criminal investigation or testify in a trial. The status was also reserved, in rare instances, to parole migrants with severe hardship for a brief period.

According to existing DHS guidance, parole is reserved for migrants on a case-by-case basis. The language reflects the intent of Congress on the limited use codified in the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility ACT:

Parole allows an individual, who may be inadmissible or otherwise ineligible for admission into the United States, to be paroled into the United States for a temporary period. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows the secretary of Homeland Security to use their discretion to parole any alien applying for admission into the United States temporarily for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. (See INA section 212(d)(5)).

An individual who is paroled into the U.S. has not been formally admitted into the United States for purposes of immigration law.

Parole is not intended to be used solely to avoid normal visa processing procedures and timelines, to bypass inadmissibility waiver processing, or to replace established refugee processing channels.

The new policy allows migrants to be granted Parole + ATD when certain thresholds are met. Specifically, when the seven-day average of migrant encounters is greater than the sector’s Fiscal Year 2019 May daily average, and when certain custody levels are reached. In sectors other than Del Rio and the Rio Grande Valley, Parole + ATD must be approved by the Chief of the Border Patrol and the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, according to the document.

According to existing DHS parole guidance, a migrant must submit an affidavit of support. The Parole + ATD policy does not address if migrants must submit financial information or if they are required to identify a sponsor.

Although not specifically addressed in the new document, the policy shift will potentially allow the released migrants to apply for temporary work authorization. DHS policy guidance on the matter states:

If not inconsistent with the purpose and duration of parole, we may, in our discretion, grant a parolee temporary employment authorization. The parolee may request employment authorization after being paroled into the United States by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

The use of parole to address large-scale classes of migrants has drawn the ire of Congress as its use is viewed as circumventing the legal immigration process. In a 2015 letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary called out the Obama administration for its use of parole to address several broad categories of migrants including DACA recipients, certain inventors, researchers and entrepreneurs, and Central American Minors.

In the 2015 letter, the assertion was made that each of the parole programs clearly violated the prohibition of using parole to “circumvent Congressionally established immigration policy” or “to admit aliens who do not qualify for admission under established legal immigration categories,” thereby skipping to the front of the legal immigrant visa line entirely.

Customs and Border Protection declined to respond to a request for information and referred Breitbart Texas to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.