April 6, 2024

Senator Ricketts’ Weekly Column: The Biden Admin is Facilitating Illegal Immigration

April 6, 2024

President Joe Biden claims he needs new legislation to secure our borders. He’s claimed he lacks the authority to address the surge we’ve seen since he took office. This is false. President Biden has the same tools President Trump did when President Trump brought illegal border crossings to a 45-year low. In reality, Biden’s own policy decisions created the catastrophe at our southern border. His policies have enabled mass migration of illegal immigrants. The Biden administration is abusing the parole and asylum process, which encourages people to come here illegally.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the president has the authority to parole foreigners into this country. Parole is supposed to only be granted on a case-by-case basis for “urgent humanitarian need” or “significant public benefit.” President Obama and President Trump paroled an average of 5,600 people per year. Yet the Biden administration has abused parole to let 1.2 million foreign nationals into this country last year. That’s not a “case-by-case basis.” That’s a policy choice to admit entire classes of people. This clear abuse of authority must stop.

The Biden administration has also abused the asylum system. Since October 2022, the Biden Administration has promoted the use of an expanded “CBP One” cell phone app for asylum seekers. Through the expanded app, foreign nationals from Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, or Nicaragua can requestpermission to fly to the United States while they wait for an asylum hearing. They also requesttemporary humanitarian release inside our country. This includes foreign nationals who would otherwise be ineligible for admission. Once approved by CBP, they are allowed to board flights to one of 43 U.S. airports. There, they are inspected and released into our country on parole. This parole allows for two-year periods of legal status, during which they are eligible for work authorization.

The Center for Immigration Studies released a report showing that 320,000 foreign nationals landed at the 43 U.S. airports last year. That’s more than the population of Lincoln, Nebraska. Venezuelans are the largest group, representing 79,990 of the 320,000 people. This use of the CBP One app circumvents our normal legal immigration process. This is unacceptable.

Nebraskans have legitimate questions in response to this report. Which airports are included in the 43 airports receiving illegal immigrants? How many illegal immigrants are arriving in Nebraska? The Biden administration refuses to give Nebraskans the answers they deserve.

President Biden’s failed policies have created the national security, humanitarian, and drug catastrophe we’re seeing. Under President Biden, every state is now a border state. Every town is a border town. Instead of changing course, his policies continue to make the problem worse. President Biden doesn’t need new laws. His policies are the problem. Congress must act if he will not reverse course. That’s why I’m fighting to pass legislation to force him to do his job. 

I introduced the Ensure Uniform Border Inspection Practices Act to improve enforcement at our border. I support a comprehensive package of solutions to secure the border. This includes reinstating the Remain in Mexico policy, building the border wall, and ending asylum loopholes. I’m supporting legislation to hire more Border Patrol agents. I’m backing bills to bring accountability to drug cartels and bring accountability to the sanctuary cities that enable more illegal immigration. I’m also working to end catch and release and stop President Biden’s abuse of parole.

I will continue to work with my colleagues on new ways to reverse President Biden’s open borders policies. I won’t stop until our border is secured and Biden’s abuse of parole is ended.

My team and I are here to serve you. Contact us anytime by phone at 202-224-4224 or on my website at www.ricketts.senate.gov/contact.