President Biden Announces Expansion of Parole Program For Nicaraguans, Haitians, Cubans Attempting to Enter The U.S.

January 5, 2023
A photo of El Paso, Texas

… my administration is going to expand the parole program for people not only from Venezuela but from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Haiti.

President Joe Biden announcing the government will provide more legal pathways for Haitians, Nicaraguans and Cubans to enter the U.S., while also sending a certain number of people from these countries back to Mexico.

Context: Encounters of people attempting entry along the U.S. southern border have reached historic highs over the past two years. In recent months, encounters of Nicaraguans, Cubans and Haitians has contributed to this influx.

Why It Matters: With the intention of deterring the large number of encounters, the Biden administration will begin sending up to 30,000 Nicaraguans, Cubans and Haitians back to Mexico if they attempt to enter the U.S. illegally. In expanding its "parole program" (implemented in October for up to 24,000 people/month from Venezuela), the government will allow up to 30,000 people from these countries into the U.S., provided they complete an application process before arriving at the border, a background check and have a sponsor in the states. They will then be able to live and work in the U.S. for two years.

Looking Ahead: On Sunday, Pres. Biden will visit El Paso, Texas – the second-largest city along the southern border which has been overwhelmed by the influx. Then, Pres. Biden is scheduled to travel to Mexico where he will meet with Mexican President López Obrador at the North American Leaders' Summit. Pres. Biden said: "We have a big agenda … But one important part of that agenda is strengthening our border between our nations."

Remarks by President Biden on Border Security and Enforcement (The White House)

Biden admin will block more Nicaraguans, Cubans and Haitians at border, but also open more legal pathways (NBC News)

by Jenna Lee,