Since September 2023, the Center for Immigration Studies has been on the forefront of reporting on the Biden administration direct-flight and parole program that has authorized the arrival of more than 320,000 inadmissible aliens through the CBP One app. The program allows migrants to take commercial passenger flights from foreign countries straight to their American cities of choice, without having to go to the southern land border. The program has largely operated under the radar until the Center filed a FOIA request, followed by litigation. The lawsuits continue – the Center is presently suing to have the administration release the names of the foreign airports and the receiving airports in the U.S.

Todd Bensman, the Center’s national security fellow and author of the reporting on the flights, joins host Mark Krikorian on this episode of Parsing Immigration Policy to discuss misconceptions surrounding the program, clarifying that the government authorizes the inadmissible aliens to enter the country, but does not buy the tickets, and that while it is secretive, in that the administration has tried to minimize public and congressional attention to it, it is not a secret program.

Last week some U.S. media outlets challenged characterizations of the CIS report by former President Trump and X owner Elon Musk along with various social media influencers – but not the factual bases of CIS reporting.

Bensman also discusses the Center making the news again when 23 lawmakers from the House of Representatives cited the CIS reporting in a letter demanding an end to the secretive Biden government program as well as the names of the airports.

U.S. cities are staggering under the burden of accommodating hundreds of thousands of needy immigrants. However, because of the stealth nature of this parole program, local officials are likely unaware that instead of attributing their challenges solely to Texas Governor Abbott, they should be directing their concerns to the White House. The Center remains steadfast in its commitment to ensure transparency and accountability and to provide state and local communities with information on this legally dubious parole program.

In his closing commentary, Krikorian highlights a further disturbing aspect of this direct-flight parole program. Aliens wanting to take advantage of it must first secure a sponsor in the United States. As Nayla Rush, a senior researcher at the Center, explains in her timely blog, Parolees Paroling In More Parolees, those sponsors need not be U.S. citizens or aliens with green cards – earlier parolees, or recipients of Temporary Protected Status, or even foreign students are permitted to serve as sponsors. In other words, the Biden administration’s parole programs enable aliens allowed in temporarily and without formal legal status to effectively decide who receives the privilege of residing and working in the United States.


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


Todd Bensman is a National Security Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.


Government Admission: Biden Parole Flights Create Security ‘Vulnerabilities’ at US Airports

Fact Checking the Fact Check: CIS Reporting Stands

Lawmakers Cite CIS in Demanding End to Secretive Immigration Flights

Biden’s Media Allies Tried – and Failed – to Trash My Report

Parolees Paroling In More Parolees


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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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