CHNV Parole Program Will Continue

Mar 12, 2024

In The News

Thanks to the hard work of advocates, lawyers and researchers, including IRI’s Deputy Director, Cyierra Roldan, the Biden Administration can continue operating the Parole Programs for people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela (CHNV parole program) which allows up to 30,000 people from those countries per month to be granted advance travel authorization to enter the United States.

The CHNV program has established a way to assist those fleeing poor conditions in their countries while also deterring people from attempting to take the perilous journey across the U.S-Mexico border.

This program begun to address the humanitarian needs of people who are forced to flee their homes, but 21 states led by Texas filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to challenge the continuation of this program

In this lawsuit, Texas has claimed that due to the CHNV program, the state would experience a fiscal burden—this direct “harm” is what the states claim gives them standing to ask the courts to stop the program. Among the fiscal “harms” they claimed were the likelihood that states would have to allow these new residents to apply for driver’s licenses.

Roldan, from IRI, submitted an expert witness declaration that knocked down this claim. The declaration used past IRI research and other data and evidence to argue that Texas, the state making this part of the claim in particular, would not be likely to see a fiscal burden due to providing these new Texas residents with driver’s licenses. In fact, Texas would be very likely to see an increase in revenue that exceeds the costs of providing these new licenses.

Based on the review of multiple expert witness declarations, Judge Tipton, who was assigned to the case, issued his opinion dismissing the states’ lawsuit challenging the CHNV parole program.  He concluded that states were unable to prove that they had suffered financial harm by this program, and that they therefore lack standing to bring the lawsuit. This means the CHNV parole program will be able to continue.

In Judge Tipton’s order, he cited Roldan:

“Evidence submitted by Intervenors suggests that 10,000 new applicants would not require more offices or expanded facilities. (See Dkt. No. 265-18 at 8). Cyierra Roldan, Deputy Director of the Immigration Research Initiative, authored a declaration in which she notes that ‘if 10,000 noncitizens were to reside in Texas due to the parole process and obtain driver’s licenses, that would only be a small .16 percent increase to all driver’s license transactions and an even smaller .14 percent increase to all transactions, much smaller than the increase due to migrants from other states and individuals turning 16 getting a permit.’”

To read the full order, click here.

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