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Grassley Introduces Bill to Reform Immigration Parole, Rein In Executive Branch Abuses

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today introduced legislation to restore integrity to the immigration parole statute and bring it back into line with congressional intent after decades of misuse by multiple presidents.
Immigration parole, first established in 1952, allows the executive branch to temporarily grant individuals entry into the United States on case-by-case bases for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. More than one president, particularly Presidents Obama and Biden, have abused this authority to admit entire categories of people—circumventing the country’s established immigration laws and programs.
“Immigration parole has been updated on more than one occasion because the executive branch has intentionally undermined the original congressional intent of the program and abused this unique authority. My bill is intended to make the law crystal clear, stop such abuses and restore integrity that’s clearly been lost,” Grassley said.
Grassley’s bill, the Immigration Parole Reform Act of 2022, would make a number of reforms to ensure the executive branch complies with the original, long-standing congressional intent for the immigration parole authority. It would, among other changes, clarify that parole may not be granted according to criteria that describes entire categories of potential parolees, and very clearly define what qualifies as an ‘urgent humanitarian reason’ or ‘significant public benefit.’ It would also provide clarity on the timing and extension of immigration parole, among other reforms. 

Grassley’s legislation follows at least two prior pieces of legislation passed by Congress that ineffectively attempted to make clarifying reforms. Recent administrations have utilized what is supposed to be a “case-by-case” authority to instead create numerous categorical parole programs, including programs modeled off legislative proposals Congress had either failed to pass into law or rejected. The Biden administration has even utilized the parole authority alongside the ‘Alternatives to Detention’ program to release illegal immigrants into the United States without a proper charging document or immigration court date.
For more information on the Immigration Parole Reform Act: