House Republicans Subpoena Mayorkas Over Illegal Immigrant Parole Policy

Policy allows thousands from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to be paroled into the interior each month.
House Republicans Subpoena Mayorkas Over Illegal Immigrant Parole Policy
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington on May 11, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Joseph Lord
Republicans on Aug. 21 subpoenaed Department of Homeland (DHS) Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for details on the Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela (CHNV) parole program.

The program—in place since Jan. 6—allows 30,000 foreign nationals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to be paroled into the interior each month.

In October 2022, the administration announced it would no longer allow Venezuelans to seek asylum at the U.S. border.

However, the administration also determined that Venezuelans would be allowed to enter the United States if they could find a financial sponsor in the country, defined by the government as "a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their parole in the United States."

In January, DHS expanded this rule to apply to Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Cubans.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, this allows nationals from these countries to come to the United States "in a safe and orderly way."

Eligible participants can be released into the interior for a temporary period of up to two years "for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit."

In the letter to Mr. Mayorkas, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) requested information on the establishment of the program and information about applicants under the program. The CHNV parole was modeled after a similar program allowing up to 30,000 Ukrainian nationals to enter the U.S. monthly.

The subpoena, issued in a communication to Mr. Mayorkas (pdf), comes 102 days after the original deadline Republicans set for DHS to hand over the materials.
However, the panel described a "demonstrated approach to indefinitely protract production" of the materials, which Republicans said necessitated the escalation to a subpoena.

Democrats Respond

The subpoena was decried as "baseless" by panel Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) in a statement.

“It is absurd that extreme MAGA Republicans running our Committee have subpoenaed the Department while the Department has been working with them to get them what they need and has been producing and transmitting requested data," Mr. Thompson said.

"Not only is the Republican request outside the Committee’s legislative jurisdiction, the majority broke the Committee’s rules—which they, themselves, wrote—by not informing [panel Democrats] accordingly.

"Their hypocrisy is showing—I have not forgotten when Democrats were forced to subpoena the Trump Administration after they completely ignored even our most basic requests, and Committee Republicans were silent."

Mr. Thompson described the move as part of the broader Republican effort to impeach Mr. Mayorkas, a route that even moderate Republicans have openly discussed in recent months as Republican frustrations over Mr. Mayorkas's handling of the border intensify.

"This subpoena is just another misstep in their baseless and politicized effort to impeach Secretary Mayorkas," Mr. Thompson said.

A DHS spokesperson told The Epoch Times that the escalation was unnecessary.

“DHS has provided substantial materials in response to the Homeland Security Committee’s request," the spokesperson said.

"The Department also communicated to the Committee that we will provide additional data as it becomes available. Instead of working with us, they have unnecessarily escalated to a subpoena.

“DHS will continue cooperating with Congressional oversight requests, all while faithfully working to protect our nation from terrorism and targeted violence, secure our borders, respond to natural disasters, defend against cyberattacks, and more.”