Washington, D.C., August 9, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, recently joined Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and six of her colleagues in introducing a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to strike down President Biden’s Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule.
The Biden Administration’s rule purports to take a hard line on illegal migration, but it is in reality riddled with exceptions and funnels migrants into unlawful parole programs that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has set up without Congress’ consent to allow more migrants with weak or non-existent asylum claims to enter the U.S.
“As the border disaster rages on, the Biden Administration continues to unilaterally install irresponsible policies that weaken our national security and disregard the rule of law,” said Senator Britt. “President Biden’s Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule is a transparent attempt to reclassify illegal migration as legal immigration so that the unprecedented numbers at the border appear better on paper than they are in reality. Last month, encounters at the border jumped by 30%. The Administration is clearly unserious about ending this crisis, as they are pulling 1,100 active duty personnel from the border while daily encounters continue to rise steadily. This rule is just the latest in a series of dangerous and unserious policies that allow transnational criminal organizations like the cartels to illegally traffic deadly drugs into our communities, schools, and homes. It’s time for the Administration to actually secure the border – not let more people into our country’s interior under different terminology.”
“The Biden administration’s rule is an unserious attempt at resolving the border crisis and is full of loopholes that the cartels will easily exploit to continue moving unlawful migrants into the United States and overwhelm our Border Patrol,” Senator Cornyn said. “Rather than stop unlawful migration, President Biden is using this rule to funnel the migrants into unlawful parole programs, and this resolution would put an end to this shell game to hide an unprecedented level of illegal immigration.”
Senators Britt and Cornyn were joined on the resolution by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.).
The Biden Administration’s Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule went into effect on the same day the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Title 42 public health order expired on May 11, 2023. This rule funnels migrants into one of three “lawful” pathways, including:
- The administration’s program to grant parole to up to 30,000 Venezuelans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Cubans per month, as well as other parole programs the administration has recently set up or expanded;
- The administration’s “CBP One” mobile app through which migrants can make appointments to enter at land ports of entry, where they may be paroled into the interior and given work authorizations;
- Seeking asylum at any place or time after having been denied asylum in a third country.
The first two of these three pathways constitute an abuse of the DHS Secretary’s parole authority, which under our immigration law is only to be used on a true case-by-case basis. Furthermore, although the administration is claiming to be tough on migrants who do not chose to pursue the three pathways it has created, in reality this rule is full of loopholes.
Illegal migrants and the transnational criminal organizations that take advantage of them will quickly learn to exploit these loopholes and overwhelm our detention facilities as Border Patrol attempts to adjudicate whether migrants fall into one of the numerous exceptions. This rule is not a serious attempt at resolving the crisis on the southern border, and it does nothing to deter migrants from unlawfully migrating to the U.S.
Senator Britt has made border security and the safety of American children, families, and communities a top focus during her first several months in office. She introduced a robust package of four pieces of legislation and has cosponsored an additional 11 bills related to the topic, including Senator Marsha Blackburn’s (R-Tenn.) Stop Taxpayer Funding of Traffickers Act; Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) Immigration Parole Reform Act of 2023 and Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act; Senator Ted Budd’s (R-N.C.) Build the Wall Now Act; Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) No Coyote Cash Act and Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Distribution Act; Senator Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) Stopping Border Surges Act; Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) Border Safety and Security Act; Senator John Kennedy’s (R-La.) Fairness in Fentanyl Sentencing Act of 2023; Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-Tex.) Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act; and Senator Tim Scott’s (R-S.C.) FEND Off Fentanyl Act.