'The impact is severe': Texas Republicans anger over DHS migrant escape program as state becomes top destination

Texas Republicans are criticizing the Biden administration's four-nationality parole program after it was revealed this week that three of the top destinations for migrants under the program are in Texas — in addition to the numbers that are already crossing the border.

“It’s just another layer of the whole thing that we’re facing,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “But this is what people need to understand: This is a very specific program designed to flood the system, misusing parole to do so.”

Fox News reported this week how official statistics show that during an eight-month period from January to August 2023, approximately 200,000 migrants arrived in the United States through a four-nationality parole program. Of those, the vast majority landed in Florida, but three of the top 15 destinations were in Texas: Austin, Dallas and Houston. More than 10,000 migrants traveled to these airports during this period.


Chip Roy

Rep. Chip Roy unveils new bill to allow people to sue over COVID-19 vaccine side effects (Getty Images)

The policy was first announced for Venezuelans in October 2022, which allowed a limited number to fly or travel directly to the United States provided they did not enter illegally, had already a sponsor in the United States and have passed certain biometric and biographical checks. The program itself does not facilitate flights and migrants are responsible for their own journey.

In January 2023, the administration expanded the program to include Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Cubans, with up to 30,000 people per month allowed into the United States. It allows migrants to receive a work permit and two-year authorization to live in the United States and has been announced. alongside an expansion of Title 42 expulsions to include these nationalities. By the end of February 2024, more than 400,000 nationals had arrived under the parole program, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently said the program provides “a safe and orderly means of reaching the United States” and has “led to a reduction in the number of these nationalities.”

“It is a key part of our efforts to address the unprecedented level of migration across our hemisphere, and other countries around the world are looking to it as a model for meeting the challenge of increasing migration. the irregular migration that they too experience.” Mayorkas said.


The Mayorkas at the Super Bowl

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the program. (Candice Ward/Getty Images)

DHS said those who enter the United States under the program undergo and meet “rigorous security screening” as well as other eligibility criteria.

“These processes are publicly available online and DHS provides the public with regular updates on their use. These processes are part of the administration's strategy to combine expanded legal avenues with stronger consequences to reduce irregular migration, and have helped retain hundreds of thousands of people. people to migrate irregularly,” said a spokesperson told Fox News Digital last month.

But Republicans claimed the program violated parole limits set by Congress, which says the authority must be used on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. It also comes amid an ongoing border crisis that the Biden administration has blamed on a lack of resources and a “broken” immigration system in need of reform, but which Republicans have blamed on Biden administration policies .


“The invasion of our southern border has turned every American city into a border town, and the Biden administration's efforts to move illegal aliens across the country are the reason,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-R. Texas, in a statement to Fox News. Digital.

“Biden's fast-track processing and programs like the CHNV parole program only push the border crisis further inland. Every day, our national security is increasingly undermined by the Biden administration,” he said. “In Texas, Houston, Dallas and Austin were particularly hard hit by open borders, finding themselves forced to support tens of thousands of illegal aliens for whom Biden rolled out the red carpet.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was asked on “The Brian Kilmeade Show” whether he thought the program was okay.

“No,” he said. Cornyn has previously criticized the administration's use of parole, calling it “manipulation of the books.”

Roy told Fox that the historic crisis, which saw more than 2.4 million migrant encounters at the border in the last fiscal year, is having a “severe” impact on the state, and he believes Texans will be angry to learn that more migrants are arriving by plane. .

“So the impact is serious,” Roy said. “With this parole program, I think Texans are going to say, 'Wait a minute. You mean they're crossing the border in droves and you're transporting people directly to our airports and to our communities?' And I think that's just going to continue to increase the frustration that people feel.”

As for the changes Republicans are making in Washington, Roy says that with the current impasse which he blames on President Mike Johnson for giving up funding to Ukraine to repair the border, it will be up to governors to act to secure the border.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 06: Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during a press conference on the U.S. southern border at the U.S. Capitol on February 06, 2024 in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans held the press conference to discuss their lack of support for the Senate's bipartisan immigration legislation released over the weekend. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)


“A lot of the influence has been given up. So I think it's more of a reason for Texas to do what it needs to do, and for governors to do what they need to do, because, frankly, the federal government has abandoned them.” he said. “It's a reason to elect Donald Trump. It's a reason to, yes, send Republicans to the House and the Senate. So that we can at least have a real debate about border security.”

Aubrie Spady of Fox News contributed to this report.


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