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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
1 Jul 2023

NextImg:DHS to Let More Potential Illegal Immigrants Schedule Their Arrivals

The Department of Homeland Security said June 30 that more would-be illegal immigrants will be able to schedule their entry into the United States.

The department’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will allow up to 1,450 appointments per day, an increase of 200 from the current number and of 450 from the number available in May.

“CBP is expanding the number of available appointments at ports of entry for the second time in less than two months, through scheduling enhancements and operational efficiencies,” Troy Miller, the top CBP official, said in a statement.

The appointments, made through an application called CBP One, are “providing for safe and efficient processes at ports of entry,” he added.

The would-be immigrants can schedule an appointment at a port of entry, or an official border crossing, through the application. The appointment scheduling was part of a January Biden administration announcement on steps that would be taken to deal with the spike in illegal immigration that has occurred since President Joe Biden took office and immediately relaxed or ended key Trump-era policies.

The app lets people who claim “vulnerability criteria,” such as having a “physical or mental illness” and being under the age of 21 or over 70, schedule crossing into the United States despite lacking legal status.

Officers assess each person who gets an appointment and grant parole to at least some of them.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the secretary of homeland security can exercise parole power to let noncitizens enter or remain in the United States. The basis for such a move is if the secretary finds “an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit.”

Parole means a person can legally apply for jobs and enjoy other benefits that illegal immigrants do not have.

Immigrants must normally be detained until their proceedings are concluded, though that requirement has been ignored by many administrations.

Multiple people can be given parole during a single appointment, Manny Bayon, a National Border Patrol Council union leader in San Diego, told The Epoch Times recently.

Officials attribute the decline in the number of illegal crossings between ports of entry to the introduction of the appointments. They stress that appointments do not mean a person will be admitted and that officers make a case-by-case determination.

Critics say the appointments are an attempt to hide a crisis at the border.

“A person comes to the border, they’re telling them to voluntarily return to Mexico, fill out the app, and then come in. And they’re immediately released; they’re giving them parole into the United States against the Immigration and Naturalization Act,” Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, said on Fox News Sunday.

“The numbers aren’t going down; that’s a shell game from Mayorkas,” he added, referring to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“They tell you the numbers of illegal entry are down because this Executive Branch has redefined what an illegal entry is,” Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) said during a recent hearing.

Officials have defended the policy.

“The process cuts out smugglers while also providing a safe, orderly, and humane process for noncitizens to access ports of entry instead of attempting to enter the United States unlawfully. We are continuing to enforce consequences for migrants who cross unlawfully, and those who do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed,” Erin Heeter, a government spokesperson, told The Epoch Times previously.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, sued the Biden administration over the application in May, alleging officials were using it to allow entry to immigrants who otherwise would not have been approved.

Several administration policies based on issuing widespread parole have been struck down or blocked by judges.

Brad Jones contributed to this report.