The ranking member on the Senate committee which oversees immigration policy is calling foul over the Obama administration’s latest executive action, to bring tens of thousands of new Hatian immigrants to the United States as part of a new family reunification program.
“Parole is meant for humanitarian assistance on a case-by-case basis,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Friday. “This mass importation of more than 109,000 individuals is an irresponsible overreach of the executive branch’s authority and is likely just the beginning of the President’s unilateral and executive actions on immigration.”
Friday, the Obama administration announced a new program expedite the “family reunification” of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have family members in Haiti by allowing such immigrants whose family-based visa petitions have already been approved come to the U.S. two years early.
“The rebuilding and development of a safe and economically strong Haiti is a priority for the United States,” Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “The Haitian Family Reunification Parole program promotes a fundamental underlying goal of our immigration system – family reunification.”
The Haitian Family Reunification Parole program will also allow the new immigrants to apply for work permits.
While some have praised the Obama administration for taking this step, Grassley argued Friday that many questions remain.
“There are many questions left unanswered,” he said. “Which countries are next on President Obama’s list? Will there by medical screenings before entry? Will work permits be granted automatically? How will this affect American workers?”
“The President’s continued push to circumvent Congressional authority and ignore the rule of law sets a bad precedent for the future,” Grassley added.