IRI’s Deputy Director Submits An Expert Witness Declaration in Federal Lawsuit

Aug 23, 2023

In The News

In January, 2023 the Biden Administration established 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. People can apply as long as they have families, communities, or loved ones who are willing to sponsor them in the United States and are outside of the U.S., among other eligibility criteria. The 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 has begun to address the humanitarian needs of people who are forced to flee their homes, but 21 states led by Texas have 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 claim are the likelihood that states would have to allow these new residents to apply for driver’s licenses.

Cyierra Roldan, IRI’s deputy director, submitted an expert witness declaration that knocks down this claim. The declaration uses 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.

To read the declaration, click here.

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