Today’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy delves into the details and implications of this week’s controversial announcement by the Biden administration that it will be granting de facto amnesty to over half a million illegal immigrants in the United States. The conversation between Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director, and Andrew Arthur, the Center’s fellow in law and policy, also highlights the administration’s reliance on executive orders in lieu of legislative compromise.

Announcement: On June 18, 2024, the Biden administration announced that 500,000 illegal immigrant spouses of U.S. citizens, who have been in the country for at least ten years and married before June 17, 2024, will be allowed to apply for “parole in place” (PIP). These benefits will also be extended to an estimated 50,000 children of these spouses, who do not need to meet the ten-year residency requirement. The PIP plan retroactively legalizes illegal entries and allows beneficiaries to apply for work authorization and attain a Social Security number.

Understanding Parole in Place: Parole in place is a limited form of parole that to this point, Congress has only extended to immediate family-members of active-duty military that allows otherwise inadmissible foreign nationals to stay in the U.S. in a quasi-legal status. While parole itself is only to be used on a case-by-case basis for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit”, the Biden administration has greatly expanded its use to large classes of inadmissible foreign nationals, raising questions about the legality of its actions. Podcast Highlights:

  1. Executive Overreach: The podcast discusses how the Biden administration’s use of PIP circumvents established immigration laws and precedents, similar to previous programs like DACA. The action will undoubtedly end up in the courts, and the administration’s approach has long-term implications for bipartisan cooperation on immigration reform.
  2. Potential for Fraud: Concerns are raised about USCIS’s ability to effectively adjudicate the more than a half million expected PIP applications, potentially leading to widespread fraud, particularly with respect to the ten-year residency requirement. This means that the number of aliens amnestied can be expected to be considerably higher than the White House estimate of 550,000.
  3. A Solution in Search of a Problem: A waiver for alien spouses in this situation already exists in the form of I-601A “Applications for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers”. The Biden administration simply needs to fast track those applications.
  4. Political Motivations: The discussion also raises concerns that the timing of the amnesty may be politically motivated, reminiscent of the Obama administration’s pre-2012 election DACA rollout, and is aimed at garnering support from immigrant voters ahead of elections.


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


Andrew Arthur is a Fellow in Law and Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies.


DHS Fact Sheet Lays Out Parameters of Biden’s ‘Parole in Place’ Amnesty

Biden’s ‘Parole in Place’ Plan is a Solution in Search of a Problem

Amnesties All the Way Down

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”.

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Published in: General