Governance Immigration
May 25th, 2023 2 Minute Read Press Release

New Issue Brief: America After Title 42

 If the goal is fewer immigrants, Biden’s parole programs are working

New York, NY – The end of Title 42 – the policy of turning away migrants at the southern border on grounds of COVID containment – sparked predictions of record-number immigration levels and chaos at the border. Instead, in the weeks since the policy’s expiration, border migrant encounters are down by 70%. In a new Manhattan Institute issue brief, graduate fellow Daniel Di Martino offers a comprehensive look at a principal driver of this unexpected reduction in illegal immigration: parole programs. 

Parole is a form of entry permit for immigrants without visas, on the condition that eligible migrants apply from within their home countries and have a U.S. sponsor with legal status and financial means. Focusing on the “CHNV” (Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela) parole program, Di Martino estimates that, through March 2023, it has prevented the entry of over 380,000 illegal immigrants, while offering a legal pathway for 102,000 through April (an estimate recent DHS internal documents reveal was remarkably accurate).

Di Martino also argues that those who have legally immigrated through the program are more likely to rely on their own networks and connections once they are in the United States, rather than on government assistance. He shows that the Biden administration’s parole programs – the other being “Uniting for Ukraine” – are effective immigration policies and makes recommendations for enhancing them. These include:

  • Work-permit request exemptions: To prevent bureaucratic backlogs, parolees should be exempt from filing requests for work permits, and instead be authorized to work based on their status as legal parolees. 
  • Make the program dynamic: Turning the CHNV into a rolling program that targets the countries with the greatest numbers of illegal immigrants to the U.S. could help reduce both illegal and total immigration.
  • Recover Costs: USCIS should begin charging a cost-recovery fee for sponsors filing the required I-134A form. This will allow it to hire more personnel and avoid delayed processing of other legal immigration applications.

Read the full issue brief here.


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