More than 380,000 applications for financially sponsored humanitarian parole for Cubans are waiting to be processed by US authorities, an avalanche that has clogged the case processing system and jeopardized the viability of the immigration program.
More than 1.5 million petitions were received by the end of April under the humanitarian parole program for Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans and Haitians put into effect last January 6, according to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents obtained by CBS.
The pendency of Cubans to enter the United States alone is exceeded by more than 580,000 requests from Haitians. The report also indicates that more than 120,000 applications from Venezuela and 20,000 from Nicaragua are also awaiting review.
The backlog of cases filed by citizens of Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti and Nicaragua is threatening the immigration system’s ability to slowly process applications and reduce the backlog since last January.
Rules established by the Immigration Program allow up to 30,000 permits per month to travel to the United States and receive a humanitarian parole, which stipulates that at least one thousand daily passes between USCIS officials Files are processed. Four nationalities benefited.
But the Biden administration’s predictions about the implementation of the program as an alternative to stopping irregular immigration through border points dashed all expectations.
“The number of requests is really high,” a USCIS official told CyberCuba. “Our commitment is to finding ways to enable the program to move forward.”
Since last week, the United States government has implemented changes to the selection process for humanitarian parole requests, from random acceptance of cases to requests with long wait times.
Modifications to the selection process include processing about 500 applications daily at random, while another 500 will be selected in the order in which they were registered.
But at that rate, the congestion will be prolonged, as the USCIS website is receiving about 12,000 requests a day.
The official said the agency acknowledges it is “a major challenge” but declined to comment on the option of increasing the monthly allowance quota more than is currently required.
Internal DHS documents point to the possibility of increasing the ability to approve cases under penalty of reducing the program’s effectiveness.
As of April, figures provided by the DHS show that more than 128,000 people have received authorization to travel to the United States as beneficiaries of the parole program, of whom some 102,000 have managed to enter the country.
Cubans have already received more than 24,000 travel approvals and about 22,000 of them have been able to enter with parole. The rest of the permits granted are distributed among 46,000 Venezuelans, of whom 38,000 are already in US territory; 39,000 Haitians (29,000 able to travel); and 19 thousand Nicaraguans (13 thousand).
In the case of Venezuela, the account began last October, when the program was opened as an emergency plan to stem unstoppable flows across the Mexican border.
The effectiveness of the humanitarian parole program is critical to the Biden administration’s strategy focused on curbing irregular immigration from Mexico, especially following the suspension of the Title 42 health order.
In just a few days, the humanitarian parole program will be challenged in a federal court in Texas, where 20 red states will call for its abolition. The trial is due to begin on June 15 with an expected duration of two weeks.
The issue of the program’s viability will be required for a decision by federal judge Drew B. Tipton in a judicial process that has already registered more than 140 entries with motions and documentary evidence. A decision on the litigation is expected by at least September.
humanitarian parole program by providing nearly a thousand daily appointments to request asylum at the border through the CBP One telephone application, building some 100 processing and counseling centers for immigrants in Central and South America, and by repatriation programs is complementary. About 30,000 undocumented immigrants a month in Mexico.
But the return of undocumented Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans to Mexico also depends on the continuation of the parole program, as Blas Nuñez-Neto, the DHS undersecretary for border and immigration policy, acknowledged last week.
Mexican border crossings have decreased significantly since May 12, when Title 42 was repealed and the United States implemented an expedited return policy for people trying to enter illegally.
Although in the case of Cubans, arrivals through Mexico have been relatively low since January, the number of operations and arrivals by sea continues to increase with great concern from United States officials, with the summer season round the corner. nearby.
The United States government warned that Cubans who are caught at sea or manage to reach the coast of South Florida will be returned to their place of origin and prevented from benefiting from the humanitarian parole program in the immediate future.