FIRST ON NY: Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are seeking answers from the Biden administration over what they say is a “flagrant abuse” of parole authorities to release hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants into the U.S. each year.

Republicans on the committee, led by Committee Chair James Comer and National Security, Border and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Chair Glenn Grothman, write in a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that they are looking into processes they say provide “unlawful categorical parole, in violation of clear statutory language, to large numbers of inadmissible aliens.”

The use of parole, in which migrants are released into the U.S. on a temporary basis, is reserved for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.” Supporters of the use of parole by the administration have noted that multiple administrations have used it to grant relief on multiple occasions, including migrants fleeing Cuba and Vietnam, and most recently “parole in place” to prevent deportation of illegal immigrant family members of military veterans.

However, the administration’s broad use of parole sparked the ire of Republicans and conservative critics. It was blocked earlier this year from using a “Parole + ATD” policy, a policy that saw migrants parole into the U.S. into Alternatives to Detention.


In May, the Biden administration sought to implement a “Parole with conditions” policy that saw migrants paroled into the U.S. without court dates due to overcrowding ahead of the end of Title 42. The order was blocked a day later by a federal judge in response to a lawsuit from Florida. In that short period, the administration released nearly 6,000 migrants under the policy.

Customs and Border Protection objected to the challenge at the time and said that “when overcrowding has occurred in Border Patrol facilities, Republican and Democratic Administrations alike have used this parole authority to protect the safety and security of migrants and the workforce.”

“Individuals apprehended by CBP are thoroughly vetted against all national security and public safety systems, regardless of how they are processed,” the statement said.

Separately, in January the administration launched a parole policy to allow up to 30,000 nationals from Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela and Nicaragua into the U.S. each month if they met certain conditions, including having a sponsor and passing background checks. That also uses the CBP One app to facilitate applications, an app that is also used to schedule appointments at the ports of entry. The lawmakers say those policies are too broad.

“The flagrant abuse of the parole statute is evidenced by the fact that the Biden Administration has paroled over a million inadmissible aliens into the United States in just over the last two years, granting it to illegal border-crossers apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol agents as well as inadmissible aliens presenting themselves at ports of entry after making appointments through the CBP One mobile application,” they say.


The lawmakers note that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are booked up for years, claiming that two offices are booked up through 2028 and 2029.

The lawmakers are seeking documents and communications related to the number of migrants paroled into the U.S. in recent years, including those who crossed into the U.S. illegally, how the policies are enacted, questionnaires, and numbers related to work authorizations granted to parolees.

DHS told Fox Digital that it “responds to Congressional correspondence directly via official channels, and the Department will continue to respond appropriately to Congressional oversight.”

In a statement, Comer said that the administration “continues to find new ways to exacerbate its self-inflicted crisis along the southern border.”

“President Biden and his administration’s disastrous policies have already led to historic levels of illegal crossings and now they are breaking the law to usher in tens of thousands of inadmissible aliens. Even more ludicrous, DHS is adding capabilities to its smartphone app to allow these inadmissible aliens to schedule appointments at ports of entry and speed up their parole. The Biden Administration’s border policies flaunt the law and are in need or constant and rigorous oversight. The House Oversight and Accountability Committee will keep pressing for information to hold officials accountable for this humanitarian and national security disaster,” he said.


The investigation comes amid a broader battle over the border. Republicans have tied the ongoing migrant crisis, which saw 200,000+ encounters in May even amid a slump in numbers in the latter half of the month, to the Biden administration’s “catch-and-release” policies.

They have also pointed to the ending of border wall construction, a narrowing of immigration enforcement priorities, as well as the use of parole, as fueling the ongoing crisis.

“The American people have no confidence in Secretary Mayorkas or President Biden because they manufactured this humanitarian disaster by rewarding illegal immigration,” Grothman said. “Through the blatant misuse of the CBP One App to abuse the parole statute, this White House is attempting to keep the American people in the dark about the vast sea of migrants it is encouraging to unlawfully remain in the country. The Biden Administration must answer to the American public for intentionally siding with criminal Cartels instead of CBP agents and border communities.”

MARCH 29: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on March 29, 2023, in Washington, D.C. Mayorkas testified on the 2024 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images) The administration has rejected that claim, saying it is broadening the use of legal migration pathways while enforcing penalties for illegal re-entry. It has called for Congress to provide more funding and to pass a sweeping immigration reform bill to fix what it says is a “broken” system.

Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital, primarily covering immigration and border security.

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