Washington, D.C. — While not providing permanent protections, including immigration parole in the budget reconciliation process would allow up to 7.1 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States to gain long-term temporary status while satisfying the objections of the Senate parliamentarian. This is the main conclusion of a new column released today by the Center for American Progress, which includes new state-by-state data estimating eligibility for immigration parole.
Over the past few weeks, U.S. Senate leaders have twice gone before the Senate parliamentarian with proposals to include a pathway to citizenship in reconciliation. But even with solid precedents, evidence of strong budgetary effects, and the potential for large impacts on the U.S. economy as a whole, the parliamentarian twice ruled it inappropriate to provide access to green cards in the reconciliation bill.
Over the past 70 years, parole has been used repeatedly by presidents of both parties to bring a range of groups and individuals into the country. President Dwight D. Eisenhower paroled in tens of thousands of Hungarians in 1956 after the country’s failed revolution, and it was used for Cuban refugees in the 1960s and beyond, reaching a high-water mark with the Mariel boatlift in 1980. Different administrations have also created programmatic grants of parole through efforts such as the military parole in place program, started in 2013; the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program and the Central American Minors Refugee and Parole program, started in 2014; and the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole program, started in 2016.
“While parole is not all that we would like, it is a temporary status with a long and bipartisan history, and it satisfies the parliamentarian’s biggest concerns,” said Philip E. Wolgin, managing director for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress. “As senators pursue all avenues to grant relief to undocumented immigrants, parole is an important policy consideration to protect millions of people that should pass parliamentary muster. And no matter what, we will not rest until Congress puts all undocumented immigrants on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.”
Read the column: “Including Immigration Parole in Reconciliation Will Help Millions” by Philip E. Wolgin, Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, and Claudia Flores
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