Biden administration paroles immigrants to reduce overcrowding | Immigration News

Located on a busy but unassuming strip of auto repair shops and convenience stores, the warehouse rarely attracts the attention of passersby.

Inside, hundreds of migrants were eating, charging their phones and using makeshift bathrooms and showers. Within hours, a security guard escorted them to the gravel ahead, and commercial buses took them from the remote town of Eagle Pass, Texas, to San Antonio International Airport for $40.

Border Patrol releases up to 1,000 migrants a day at Mission: Border Hope. The nonprofit organization outgrew a church and moved to a warehouse in April. Biden administration The practice of paroleing immigrants has rapidly expanded, especially those who are not bound by popular rules that prevent immigrants from seeking asylum.

From August to May, the U.S. Border Patrol parole more than 207,000 migrants who crossed the border from Mexico, including 51,132 in May, a 28 percent increase from April, according to the U.S. Border Patrol. court records. It has only paroled 11 immigrants in the past seven months.

Parole protects immigrants from deportation for a period of time, but offers little else. According to the law, The Department of Homeland Security can release immigrants on parole into the United States “for urgent humanitarian reasons or specific circumstances of significant public interest.” Parolees can apply for asylum within one year.

Immigrants wait in line for a commercial bus to take them to San Antonio Airport in Eagle Pass, Texas [Dario Lopez-Mills/AP Photo]

The Border Patrol was paroled for lack of detention space, according to court documents. It’s a low-key but far-reaching change from President Joe Biden’s first few months in office and his predecessors Donald Trump and Barack Obama.

Thousands were detained under a bridge in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley last year after agents couldn’t process immigration court appearances fast enough. 2019, Cell packed Some immigrants had to stand on toilets.

Migrants released at warehouses were told to report to immigration authorities within two months of their final destination in the United States. Handheld devices track their movements.

“treat [by US authorities] Compared to other countries, it’s a good choice,” said 27-year-old Venezuelan Anthony Montilla. “They didn’t treat us like thieves. “

He and his family arrived after an infamous journey across Panama Darien Gorge, the bandits raped the young girl in front of her parents, the body was lying on the jungle floor. After Border Patrol released the family on two-month parole, they headed to a friend’s house in Washington, D.C.

Jose Castillo, 43, overcame drowned in the rio grande river. They are going to live in Miami with a cousin. They say opposition to the Nicaraguan government makes them the target of a crackdown.

Castillo’s day in Border Patrol custody was “easy,” he said, but he would advise others against the trip because of the risk of starvation or kidnapping in Mexico.

immigrant waiting
The Biden administration has been expanding the practice of parole immigrants, especially those not subject to Section 42 [Dario Lopez-Mills/AP Photo]

busy hallway

Mission: Border Hope, backed by the United Methodist Church, operates in an area that now rivals the Rio Grande Valley as the busiest corridor for illegal border crossings. Its service is small compared to the groups that provide shelter and transportation to airports in other border cities.

It started in 2000 and served 25 to 50 immigrants a week at the former location, said Valeria Wheeler, executive director who oversees operations with assembly-line efficiency.

On the busiest days, Wheeler said, volunteers couldn’t keep up while registering immigrants, buying bus tickets and handling other logistics. A typical day sees 500 migrants, but sometimes reaches 1,000.

Boxes of pasta sauce, chicken soup, pork and beans are stacked near the makeshift kitchen. Migrants wait on metal benches and plastic chairs. A voice over a loudspeaker gave instructions to people getting off a Border Patrol bus and announced when a commercial bus bound for the airport would arrive to pick up passengers with tickets.

The facility encourages migrants to leave quickly to make room for others, but about one in 10 end up sleeping on concrete floors because they have nowhere to go.

Jose Castillo
Jose Castillo, 43, from Nicaragua, like other immigrants, had to use a handheld device to track his movements [Dario Lopez-Mills/AP Photo]

“We weren’t set up to be a sanctuary,” said Wheeler, a former paralegal who walked through the windowless building, often interrupted by questionable immigrants.

Immigrants on parole said they were not screened for asylum and were even asked why they came to the United States. They received a bound bag with a blue stamp that said parole expired.

This is in stark contrast to many others who have been deported without a chance to seek asylum. Title 42 Permissions, denying immigrants asylum on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.A federal judge recently command it to remain valid under the opposition of the government.

Title 42 The application is uneven, affecting mainly migrants from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, as Mexico has agreed to repatriate them.

The head of the Border Patrol’s parent agency said immigrants selected for parole have their criminal histories checked and typically arrive with families at the addresses they will remain in the United States.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus in an interview.

Critics say parole encourages more immigrants to come and the government is ignoring legal requirements to grant parole on a “case-by-case” basis.

But Magnus said it was “more efficient” and as effective as releasing Border Patrol agents after they were notified to appear in court.

This time-consuming task is now performed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers when migrants report to them at their final destination.

Border Patrol still processes about 25,000 migrants a month for immigration courts, and agents said each immigration court could take more than an hour. By contrast, parole is processed in minutes.

a recent day, Honduran women About eight months pregnant, she was released and notified to appear in immigration court in Cleveland, where she plans to live with an uncle. Wheeler said it wasn’t known why some immigrants were tried in immigration court while others were paroled — and her organization didn’t ask.

“Our purpose is to provide security,” she said.

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