In early January the Biden administration, without the approval of Congress, announced a new immigration program, granting parole to 360,000 foreign nationals from Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. This week’s Parsing Immigration Policy episode puts this Biden expansion of parole authority in context citing the creation of the parole authority, later congressional limitations, and historical use by the executive.

The Biden administration continues to abuse parole authority at an ever increasing rate. Parole was established by Congress to provide authorization for the executive – in very narrow circumstances – to allow foreign nationals into the country who are inadmissible by law. Over the last two years, a Democratic-controlled Congress limited the amount of detention space for illegal aliens at the request of the Biden administration, which then used the lack of space as an excuse to release illegal migrants into the country who are mandated by law to be detained.

Without action from Congress, states have had to take on this executive overreach in court, protecting the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution. But the Biden administration began the new parole program despite two court challenges to the executive abuse of parole, Texas v. Biden and Florida v. United States. Now the administration is being sued by 20 states for its latest parole program, in Texas v. DHS.

State court cases have brought the third branch of government, the judicial branch, into the immigration policy arena despite SCOTUS being very clear that immigration policy is the role of the legislative branch. Will Congress cede its authority on immigration to the executive? Will the new Republican House majority cut off funding for all parole programs?

In his closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, host of Parsing Immigration Policy and executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, brings attention to the case of an Iranian national who was apprehended trying to cross the border in the trunk of a car. There has been conflicting information on whether he is on a terror watch list, but Krikorian explains that it doesn’t really matter – either way, Iranians being smuggled across the border represent a national security problem.


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


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


Biden Administration’s Game of Border Whac-a-Mole

Texas, 19 Other States, Sue Over Biden’s Parole Plan

The Pernicious Perversion of Parole

The Most Important Immigration Rulings in 2022 and the Forecast for 2023


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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”.

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Published in: Domestic Policy, Immigration