President Trump will tighten rules for a federal parole program that has allowed thousands of foreign nationals, who would otherwise be deemed inadmissible to the United States, to take jobs in the U.S.
An order issued this week by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives guidance to federal adjudicators to only consider providing foreign nationals who are paroled into the country with work permits after “all relevant factors” are considered “on a case-by-case basis.”
“USCIS will only consider employment authorization for parolees when, based on the facts and circumstances of each individual case, USCIS finds that a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted,” USCIS officials wrote in a release.
The rule is set to slow down the ongoing fast-tracking of work permits for foreign nationals arriving in the U.S. — allowing thousands of migrants to take U.S. jobs while they await court hearings.
“Directly addressing loopholes that encourage the exploitation of our immigration system is the only way forward,” Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement.
“This decision is in response to the national emergency at the southern border where foreign nationals are entering the United States illegally, as well as based on a review of USCIS adjudicatory practices over the past few years,” Cuccinelli said of the new rule.
Between October 2017 and September 2018, the Trump administration gave nearly 18,000 work permits to foreign nationals paroled into the U.S. on urgent humanitarian grounds. The year before, the Obama and Trump administrations authorized work permits for nearly 60,000 foreign nationals.
During President Obama’s last full fiscal year in office, his administration gave work permits to nearly 79,000 foreign nationals who were paroled into the country.
In recent years, the Trump administration had been fast-tracking work permits for adult border crossers so long as they arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border with children. In May 2019, Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kevin McAleenan confirmed that agency officials were giving work permits to “100 percent” of adult border crossers arriving in the U.S. with children.
The overall total of work permits granted to foreign nationals — not just those paroled into the U.S. via the INA 212(d)(5) category — is enormous. For example, in Fiscal Year 2018, about 1.25 million migrants were given work permits to take U.S. jobs. The year before, more than 1.5 million migrants got work permits.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.