The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on Friday it would be ending two parole programs: the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program and the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program. The programs allow for families of Haitian immigrants and WWII veterans from the Philippines to come to the United States before their immigrant visas and green cards are available.
Ending these categorical parole programs “ensure that parole is used only on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the law,” said a press releasefrom USCIS.
“Under these categorical parole programs, individuals have been able to skip the line and bypass the proper channels established by Congress. With the termination of these programs, these individuals will no longer be permitted to wait in the United States for their family-based green card to become available, consistent with the rules that apply to the rest of the world,” USCIS acting Director Ken Cuccinelli said in statement. “Parole is to be used on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. USCIS is committed to exercising this limited authority in a manner that preserves the integrity of our immigration system and does not encourage aliens to unlawfully enter the United States.”
Value Our Families organization, a coalition of groups that aims to keep families together, criticized the announcement. Grace Pai, the director of the coalition, asked Congress not to oppose the decision and support “family unity.”
In another heartless attack on people of color, USCIS announced it will end both the Filipino WWII Veterans Parole program and the Haitian Family Reunification parole program. We are calling on Congress to #ValueOurFamilies. pic.twitter.com/JUM7RAnJYa
— Advancing Justice | AAJC (@AAAJ_AAJC) August 2, 2019
USCIS said the decision to terminate the two programs was consistent with a 2017 executive order titled, “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements.”
The terminations of these programs is the latest example of the Trump administration’s hard-line approach to immigration, which also includes an effort to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to curb illegal crossings.