Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.), joined fellow Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville (R), and six other Republican Senators to reintroduce the Immigration Parole Reform Act of 2023 to restore integrity to the immigration parole statute amid ongoing misuse by the executive branch.
There is no doubt that there is an unprecedented humanitarian and national security crisis at the border, and it’s devastating families and communities across America,”Sen. Britt said.“In addition to the Biden Administration’s weak border agenda, the President’s continued abuse of our immigration system is only compounding the problem. The chaotic combination of lawless catch-and-release and expansive parole practices must end.”
Britt’s comments come one week after she introduced several bills to tighten border security and one month after her visit to the U.S. – Mexico border, where she was joined by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss) to meet with federal, state and local law enforcement to see the impact of undocumented immigrants crossing the border illegally.
According to a release from Sen. Britt, the bill would make a number of reforms to ensure the executive branch complies with the original, long-standing congressional intent for the immigration parole authority. It would, among other changes, clarify that parole may not be granted according to criteria that describes entire categories of potential parolees, and very clearly define what qualifies as an “urgent humanitarian reason” or “significant public benefit.” It would also provide clarity on the timing and extension of immigration parole, among other reforms.
What is Immigration Parole?
Immigration parole, first established in 1952, allows the executive branch to temporarily grant individuals entry into the United States on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. However, several presidential administrations, particularly those of Presidents Obama and Biden, have abused this authority to admit entire categories of individuals in circumvention of congressionally-established pathways to allow foreign nationals to enter the United States. Some of these parole programs were created even after Congress repeatedly rejected or failed to consider and enact legislative proposals that would have created an immigration pathway for the group of people covered by the programs.
The Biden administration is using dangerous loopholes to let more illegal immigrants into the country,” Sen. Tuberville said. “Giving parole to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants artificially decreases the number of apprehensions at the border and instead allows them right into the country. The American people are smarter than President Biden thinks and can see through this abuse of power. I am proud to join this legislation that clarifies executive parole authority to ensure the Department of Homeland Security enforces our immigration laws. We shouldn’t have to pass a law requiring DHS to do its job, but I’m committed to doing what it takes to secure our southern border and hold our leaders accountable.”
Senators Britt, Grassley, and Tuberville were joined by Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) in cosponsoring this legislation.