Rep. Jim Jordan, Sen. Chuck Grassley to Mayorkas: 'Misguided' policy on Venezuela parole program

The program is "yet another misguided immigration policy of the Biden Administration and flagrant violation of immigration law," according to the GOP legislators.

Updated: November 22, 2022 - 7:57pm

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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday raising concerns about a parole program for Venezuelan nationals in the U.S.

The letter from the GOP politicians calls the parole program "yet another misguided immigration policy of the Biden Administration and flagrant violation of immigration law."

Citing the George W. Bush administration's understanding of parole programs in 2008, the letter quotes, "parole is an extraordinary measure, sparingly used only in urgent or emergency circumstances, by which the Secretary may permit an inadmissible alien temporarily to enter or remain in the United States. Parole is not to be used to circumvent normal visa processes and timelines."

The "categorical" parole program for Venezuelans is contrary to using the parole authority on a case-by-case basis, as Congress designed, according to the letter.

The program allows "[a]ny U.S.-based individual with lawful status, including representatives of businesses or other organizations or entities" to "support a potential beneficiary" who will be paroled into the U.S. and eligible to obtain a work permit.

The Republican legislators noted that the program had been called "a 'new lawful pathway created' for Venezuelan nationals to enter and live in the United States" by the DHS secretary. However, the letter adds that the secretary "cannot legally 'create' any such 'pathway.'"

The program was originally announced as being intended for "up to 24,000" Venezuelans, but DHS officials later said that that number "was the 'initial commitment' and that the Department would revisit the number for increase," according to the letter.

The letter calls the program "a mockery of federal immigration law" and asks Mayorkas for further information, such as, "Will an alien who does not possess a Venezuelan passport, but who claims to be Venezuelan ... be denied advanced travel authorization and parole?"

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