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Federal Government Program Allows More Than 200,000 Illegal Aliens to Fly Right Over the Border

Over 200,000 illegal aliens from four countries used a direct-flight parole program to enter the U.S. illegally in the past year, says Todd Bensman, senior national security fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.
(Photo: Craig Hastings/Getty Images)
(Photo: Craig Hastings/Getty Images)

By: Virginia Allen, The Daily Signal

Not all illegal aliens are entering the U.S. along the southern or northern border, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

Over the past year, “more than 200,000 people from four countries” used a direct-flight parole program to enter the United States illegally, says Todd Bensman, senior national security fellow at the Washington-based think tank devoted to researching immigration issues.

Those 221,456 illegal aliens are from Haiti, Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, Bensman writes in a report published Thursday.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, or FOIA, Bensman says, he learned of the federal government’s “CBP One” mobile application parole program, which “permits inadmissible aliens to make an appointment to fly directly to airports in the interior of the United States, bypassing the border altogether.”

The Biden administration introduced the CBP One mobile app to illegal aliens as a way to schedule an appointment at a port of entry and be paroled into the interior of the United States. (The acronym CBP refers to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security.)

President Joe Biden said the program was part of an effort to form “lawful pathways” for illegal aliens to enter the country and seek asylum. Illegal border crossings between ports of entry at the southern border appeared to decline in June as more illegal aliens presented themselves at a port of entry.

But, according to Bensman’s findings, migrants also are presenting themselves at ports within the interior of the country.

One of the “least noticed, mysterious, and potentially the most controversial of the new rechanneling programs that use the CBP One app allows migrants to take commercial passenger flights from foreign countries straight to their American cities of choice, flying right over the border—and even over Mexico,” Bensman writes in the Center for Immigration Studies report titled “New Records: Biden DHS Has Approved Hundreds of Thousands of Migrants for Secretive Foreign Flights Directly Into U.S. Airports.”

Through the CBP One app, “Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Haitians, and Colombians … [can] request ‘advance travel authorizations,’” Bensman writes, and then fly “directly into U.S. airports, where U.S. Customs officers parole them into the nation, sight unseen, and in numbers publicly unknown.”

The documents obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies, he adds, show that “between late October 2022 and mid-September 2023, the administration approved a total of 221,456 Venezuelans, Haitians, Cubans, and Nicaraguans for ‘travel mode: air’ into still-unspecified interior U.S. ports.”

Center for Immigration Studies

The illegal aliens are required to pay for their own flight into the U.S.

Details of the Biden administration’s flight program for illegal aliens come as U.S. Customs and Border Protection encounters with illegal immigrants along the U.S. border with Mexico are nearing record highs and the administration is granting migrants from Venezuela “temporary protected status.”

The change protects hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans from deportation if they were in America unlawfully before July 31, and makes it easier for those illegal immigrants to gain U.S. work permits.

“Temporary protected status provides individuals already present in the United States with protection from removal when the conditions in their home country prevent their safe return,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Wednesday in a written statement.

The Biden administration is “granting them the protection that the law provides,” Mayorkas said. “However, it is critical that Venezuelans understand that those who have arrived here after July 31, 2023, are not eligible for such protection, and instead will be removed when they are found to not have a legal basis to stay.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reported encountering more than 460,000 illegal aliens from Venezuela on America’s borders since Biden’s presidency began on Jan. 20, 2021.

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.

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