WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Obama administration announced Friday a sweeping program to bring Central Americans to the United States permanently starting in December. In doing so, the administration is executing a plan originally proposed in July as tens of thousands of illegal alien minors streamed across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Under the program, the federal government will grant either refugee status or parole to children and adults from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The process will start when parents who are "lawfully present" in the U.S. file an application for refugee status on behalf of their unmarried children (under 21) in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. If the second parent resides with the child, the second parent may be added to the application. DHS will then screen the child to make a decision on the application.
Under the administration's plan, those who are denied refugee status may still be eligible for parole. The inclusion of parole in the Obama administration's program is significant because it greatly expands the number of aliens who may be eligible for the program. There is no statutory cap on the number of aliens who may receive parole.
"The plan announced by the administration amounts to another attempt to make an end-run around statutory limits on immigration," stated Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). "The administration is abusing both the refugee process and its very limited powers of parole to admit people to the U.S. who are otherwise ineligible for admission."
FAIR also disputed administration claims that parolees are not eligible for medical and other benefits upon arrival in the United States. "From the very first day, aliens with parole are eligible to sign up for programs such as Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare because federal regulations deem aliens with parole to be 'lawfully present.' Within a year, they will become 'qualified aliens,' which, over the course of five years, makes them eligible for all federal public benefits," said Stein.
"The administration continues to demonstrate that nothing will deter it from its goal of essentially open immigration to the United States," continued Stein. "It is imperative that the incoming Congress act to rein in this rampant abuse of discretionary authority and restore some integrity to U.S. immigration policy," concluded Stein.
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
SOURCE Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)