The administration has released more than a million migrants into the United States who do not have visas.

We do need immigrants. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report last month, The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2024 to 2034, showing how much the U.S. economy and the national budget depend on immigrant workers. But the administration is not screening these immigrants to determine whether they will meet our employment needs.

CBO expects that only around 2 percent of these migrants will be highly skilled workers who can fill jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. And the ones who are not highly skilled generally will work in sectors of the economy that pay relatively low wages, which will put downward pressure on average wages for low-skill jobs. Nor are these migrants being chosen to reunite American citizens and lawful permanent residents with foreign family members. Rather, the administration is bypassing the visa system in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allocates employment-based and family-based visas.

Between the beginning of the Biden presidency in January 2021 and the end of September 2023, the Border Patrol had nearly 6 million encounters with illegal border crossers and released around 3.3 million of them into the country.

The administration also has established “legal pathways” that provide an alternative to illegal border crossings for migrants who can’t get visas. It has used these initiatives and border practices to parole around 3.6 million migrants into the country in the last three years. The parole status of at least 1.2 million of them has lapsed, and they are still here. 

The legal pathways include special processes for paroling up to 30,000 nationals a month into the country from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela who have a U.S.-based supporter. The requirements for establishing eligibility include undergoing national security vetting and demonstrating that a grant of parole is warranted because of significant public benefit or for urgent humanitarian reasons.


Published originally on The Hill

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.