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Biden Administration Rolls Out New Legal Migration Program to Quell Border Crossings

Jul 12, 2023

US Mexico Border Bridge

The Biden administration will soon open a new immigration program allowing certain Central Americans and Colombians to legally enter the U.S. as an alternative to unlawful border crossings.

The program, called the Family Reunification Parole Process, will grant work permits to eligible migrants from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who have U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident relatives.

Starting this month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will allow eligible migrants from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to fly to the U.S. and obtain work permits. To qualify, migrants must have relatives who are U.S. citizens or green card holders and have filed visa applications on their behalf. The program prioritizes adult children, siblings of U.S. citizens, and children and spouses of permanent residents. The program will act as an expedited alternative to the backlogged and numerically limited family-based visa system.

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Government data suggests that over 70,000 individuals could qualify for the program immediately. The Biden administration aims to welcome up to 100,000 migrants through the new initiative, although a specific timeframe for fulfilling this goal has not been provided.

The Family Reunification Parole Process is part of a broader government initiative to alleviate pressure on the U.S.-Mexico Border by offering a safe and orderly alternative to unlawful border crossings. In the past year, the Biden administration also launched a new humanitarian parole program aimed at migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. The process allows eligible individuals to apply for U.S. travel authorization without having to leave their home countries.

The Biden administration credits these new parole programs with a noticeable decline in unlawful border entries since the pandemic-era policy Title 42 ended in May. Daily unlawful border crossings, which peaked at 10,000 before the expiration of Title 42, have recently fallen below 4,000.

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