Biden’s border win

Politico West Wing Playbook celebrates “Biden’s border win.” This is what the White House wants its supporters at Politico to know about the so-called “bipartisan border bill.” Metaphorically speaking, we need to separate the propagandistic twigs and seeds from the dope before we put this in our pipe and smoke it, Clinton style (links omitted):

Last night’s unveiling of a bipartisan border bill kicked off a hectic race for the White House and Senate negotiators to sell the legislation before a fast-approaching vote on Wednesday.

The White House joined in immediately, releasing a statement from President JOE BIDEN expressing staunch support for the bill, which would implement one of the strictest border and immigration laws in modern history. Senior administration officials then held a press call noting that the bill would provide significant border resources, speed up the asylum system and give Biden the ability to “shut down” the border when it becomes overwhelmed.

But what’s as interesting as the provisions they’re touting is one that is getting far less attention. The agreement contains a significant victory for Biden: The president’s humanitarian parole pathways made it out unscathed.

“The legislation does not impact the CHNV process at all,” a senior administration official told reporters last night about a parole program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans. The official only noted as much because they were asked specifically about it.

Immigration parole was first established in 1952 and has been used by every Republican and Democratic president since DWIGHT EISENHOWER. It allows the government to grant migrants temporary permission to live and work in the U.S., though there’s no path toward citizenship. And it’s been utilized for humanitarian reasons or for significant public benefit.

For a while, it wasn’t clear if it would survive the negotiations. It was a major sticking point in border talks, as Republicans seized on Biden’s unprecedented use of the authority to admit more than 1 million migrants into the U.S.

“When we started with this back in October, the Republicans were hell bent on stripping the executive branch and the president of the authority to use the section of the immigration law — the humanitarian parole section — in the way that he has to designate programs for Ukrainians, Afghans and other nationals of other countries to be able to come here” said GREG CHEN, senior director of government relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Biden has used humanitarian parole in a number of ways. In January last year, the president announced a plan that would admit 30,000 people a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, if these migrants have a financial sponsor and can fly to the U.S. instead of arriving at the border. As part of this policy, Mexico also accepts 30,000 people a month from these countries. Biden also used parole for Afghans after the fall of Kabul, and to admit thousands of Ukrainians after the Russian invasion.

Biden officials believed that eliminating this power would spell disaster in 2024, sending more migrants directly to an already strained border — nearly 2 million people are in line for a chance to enter the United States via the legal pathway, according to an analysis from the Cato Institute’s DAVID J. BIER. So they drew a red line, one that — it appears — was ultimately accepted by Senate negotiators.

The new legislation doesn’t touch the tool, nor does it affect Biden’s ability to expand these pathways to other nationalities in the future, Chen said.

Whole thing here.

In a press release only last month, Senator Lindsey Graham provided data that seems to me to set this particular issue in context: “Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, President Biden paroled 795,561 migrants. In FY 2023 he has already paroled 802,764 migrants and that total does not include the 4th quarter. It is likely the Biden Administration will have paroled approximately 1.2 million migrants in FY 2023 when final figures are available.” By contrast, “Former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump paroled – on average – 5,623 migrants into the United States each year.”

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