Sen. John Cornyn announced plans Monday to force a vote in Congress to overturn President Biden’s new “parole” program, which seeks to admit migrants outside of the usual process established under immigration law.
Mr. Biden forged his program earlier this year in an attempt to cut down on illegal immigration, figuring he could convert those illegal immigrants to legal entrants by paroling them into the country and giving them a two-year permission to remain without fear of deportation.
Mr. Cornyn, Texas Republican, said the program is probably illegal — and bad policy, as well.
“The president’s policies are attracting more and more illegal immigration — what the Border Patrol calls ‘pull factors.’ In other words, the perception that there are no consequences associated with coming here outside of legal immigration channels,” Mr. Cornyn said on Fox News.
Mr. Cornyn said he’ll introduce legislation under the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress a potential veto over executive branch actions.
To clear Congress, backers would need to muster only a majority in the House and in the Senate. Senators would not be able to filibuster the measure. Mr. Biden could still veto it, and then it would take a two-thirds vote to overturn him.
The parole program has proved to be deeply controversial. It allows tens of thousands of would-be migrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua to apply for permission to enter at a set time.
The Homeland Security secretary, under his power of parole, grants a two-year permission to stay and issues work permits allowing the new migrants to hold jobs and collect some taxpayer benefits.
Those from the affected nations who don’t apply but still show up and try to jump the border are rejected and pushed back into Mexico.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said last week that the program has been wildly successful, cutting illegal entries from those four countries by 95% in the early going.
But the program has opposition from both sides of the immigration debate.
Immigrant rights advocates say the program denies legitimate asylum-seekers a chance to make a claim at the border even if they didn’t use the new pathway.
And Republican critics say the program creates a new immigration system outside of the one established by Congress. That question is being tested in the courts, too.