In a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman [mc_name name=”Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)” chamber=”senate” mcid=”G000386″ ], and [mc_name name=”Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)” chamber=”senate” mcid=”L000577″ ], called out the Obama Administration’s abuse of advance parole authority in granting a citizen path to illegal aliens with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. President Obama had said these executive amnesty recipients would not get citizenship.
When President Obama announced DACA, which provides work permits and “legal presence” to certain illegal aliens, he said “Now let us be clear. This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship.” But DACA recipients can gain such a path through advance parole. The Senators wrote, “Though the federal statute governing parole authority requires that parole be granted only for ‘urgent humanitarian reasons’ or in cases of ‘significant public benefit,’ United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy has expanded potential grounds of advance parole approval for DACA recipients to ‘educational purposes, employment purposes, or humanitarian purposes.’ A DACA recipient granted advance parole to participate in a semester abroad program, for example, is paroled into the United States upon return and is thereby eligible to adjust to legal permanent resident status.” The person can become a citizen after five years.
DHS did not expand the grounds for advance parole through a rulemaking that was subject to public notice and comment. Instead the agency published in early February a new version of the I-131 Travel Document that detailed the grounds and explained how DACA recipients can apply.
Sens. Grassley and Lee asked Johnson for information on the number of DACA recipients who were granted parole under these circumstances and applied for legal permanent residency.