A Judge Upholds the US ‘Parole’ Program That Benefits Cubans

More than 75,000 nationals from the Island had been approved in the program

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 10 March 2024 —  Humanitarian parole will continue in force now that a judge in Texas has dismissed the lawsuit of 21 Republican states against the program implemented by the Biden Administration, which allows migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to apply for entry into the U.S. for humanitarian and emergency reasons. The migrants will also receive financial aid.

The federal district judge, Drew B. Tipton, said last Friday that he dismissed the appeal filed by the plaintiffs a year ago because they had not shown that they suffered economic damages because of the humanitarian parole program, reports the U.S. press. “When reaching this conclusion, the Court does not address the legality of the program,” Tipton wrote in his ruling.

Through February, and after a year of being in force, humanitarian parole had benefited more than 357,000 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans, according to official figures from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. More than 75,000 nationals of the Island were approved for the program, in addition to 144,000 Haitians, 64,000 Nicaraguans and 92,000 Venezuelans.

The White House, upon learning of the judge’s ruling, said that the court’s decision “is based on the success of this program, which has expanded legal avenues” for the thousands of migrants who have entered the country, “while drastically decreasing the number of nationals of those countries who cross our southwest border,” said spokesman Angelo Fernández Hernández.

“We have processed most of the people who already are in the system, and the rest are taking longer. This is how we maintain an equitable system so that everyone has a chance”  

A year ago, the plaintiffs argued that Joe Biden’s decision to give the green light to the humanitarian program was “arbitrary and capricious.” They also said that it represents an expenditure of millions of dollars for states that have to provide “services to migrants.”

After several months, the trial began last August and ended in September. Thousands of migrants who were put on hold still expect to benefit from the humanitarian parole. Faced with doubts about whether or not the policy would remain in force, hundreds of Cubans who already had their travel permits decided to advance their flights and enter the United States.

Others had bad luck and were not approved, even though the program has been in place for 14 months. According to the testimonies published in Facebook groups that Cubans have organized to stay informed about the parole process and cases recorded by this newspaper, dozens of people who applied in January 2023 are still waiting to be approved.

Migrants must have a financial sponsor in the United States who submits an online application. When they are approved, they must enter the country by air and can stay for two years and obtain a work permit.

“Because there is more demand than spots, we are processing 30,000 travel permits a month,” Luis Miranda, Deputy Undersecretary of the Office of Public Affairs of the Department of Homeland Security, told Martí Noticias last February.

“We have processed most of the people who already are in the system, and the rest are taking longer. This way we maintain an equitable system so that everyone has a chance.”

“Not everyone is going to qualify. Not everyone is going to get out of this process with the result they want, but we have helped more than 357,000 people in the last year, and that is something tremendously generous. It is the largest expansion that has been made in decades in the legal processes to emigrate to the United States,” Miranda explained.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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