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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Thursday reintroduced the Immigration Parole Reform Act of 2023 to restore integrity to the immigration parole statute after decades of misuse by the executive branch. 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.

Grassley’s 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.

The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).

“The executive branch’s abuse of immigration parole is unacceptable and totally out of line with congressional intent. I’m proud to lead the fight to curb the abuse of immigration parole and restore order to our immigration system,” Grassley said.

“The Biden administration has been abusing a law that allows immigrants into the United States for emergencies and for the public interest. But what’s in President Biden’s political interest is not in the public interest of Americans. Our bill will help stop his abuse of the parole system and help end catch-and-release,” Cotton said.

“Americans want President Biden to address the border crisis, not cover it up by granting blanket parole to those crossing the border illegally,” Cassidy said. “The administration is abusing our parole laws to do this, and our bill would stop them.”

“The Biden administration is using dangerous loopholes to let more illegal immigrants into the country,” 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.”

The full text of the bill is available here.

A summary of the bill is available here and a section-by-section summary is available here.

Author: Press Release


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