President Joe Biden unveiled a new plan on Thursday that he says will begin to address the border crisis and flood of migrants entering the country.
The plan, according to the White House, expands the “parole” program for immigrants from four countries: Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. The program will allow 30,000 people from those countries per month to enter the U.S. and receive work authorization. The individuals who use this program, however, will be forced to apply for it legally — not illegally enter the U.S.
“Do not just show up at the border. Stay where you are and apply legally from there,” Biden said. “Starting today, if you don’t apply through the legal process, you will not be eligible for this new parole program.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration will also expand Title 42 expulsions, especially among migrants who illegally enter the U.S. Mexico, Biden said, has agreed to take up to 30,000 migrants per month who illegally enter the U.S. and face rapid expulsion.
The announcement came days before Biden is scheduled to visit the southern border. Biden said he will visit El Paso on Jan. 8 to meet with local officials and “assess border enforcement operations.”
The visit will mark the first time that Biden has visited the border as president. Biden, in fact, has not visited the border as a politician. The Washington Post explained that Biden once drove by the border when traveling to a campaign event in 2008, but he never actually stopped there.
What was the response?
Fox News reporter Bill Melugin, who has extensively covered the border crisis, explained that Biden’s “parole” program simultaneously allows the administration to control the optics of the migrant crisis while exacerbating it.
“This new policy will almost certainly reduce *recorded* monthly border crossing numbers because these nationalities are crossing in massive numbers,” he explained. “However, migrants not eligible for parole will have no incentive to turn themselves in now, & will evade as ‘gotaways’.”
Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), moreover, condemned Biden’s plan.
“The Biden Administration’s decision to expand Title 42, a disastrous and inhumane relic of the Trump Administration’s racist immigration agenda, is an affront to restoring rule of law at the border,” he said in a statement, the Washington Post reported.
“Ultimately, this use of the parole authority is merely an attempt to replace our asylum laws, and thousands of asylum seekers waiting to present their cases will be hurt as a result,” he added.