Fact Focus: Biden’s Alleged Secret Flights For Hundreds Of Thousands Of Immigrants

In his victory speech on Super Tuesday, former President Donald Trump propagated a viral misinformation circulating on social media. He claimed that the Biden administration covertly transported hundreds of thousands of migrants into the United States.

Several posts have been circulating claiming that the Biden administration has refused to disclose the names of individual airports where individuals arriving under the parole program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans are being allowed to stay in the United States for two years. These claims are based on a report by the Center for Immigration Studies, an organization that supports immigration restrictions.

Every month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection releases data on the number of migrants admitted into the country through the program, categorized by nationality. This information can be found on their official website and is also shared through press releases. However, the specific airports of arrival are not listed in these reports.

During his speech, Trump expressed his disbelief when he stated, “Today it was announced that 325,000 people were flown in from parts unknown – migrants were flown in airplanes, not going through borders … It was unbelievable. I said that must be a mistake. They flew 325,000 migrants. Flew them in over the borders and into our country.”

Migrants are not being brought into the United States haphazardly. Since January 2023, there has been a Biden policy in place that allows up to 30,000 individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to enter the country on a monthly basis. However, there are specific requirements for entry. Those who wish to enter must apply online with a financial sponsor and arrive at a designated airport, covering their own expenses. President Biden has utilized his authority to grant “parole,” which is permitted under a 1952 law. This authority allows him to admit individuals on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or when there is a significant public benefit.

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Here’s a closer look at the claim that the Biden administration has secretly flown over 300,000 unvetted migrants into the country.

An article published on Monday by the Center for Immigration Studies sheds light on how Biden has been utilizing his parole authority for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reveals the number of individuals from four countries who have been granted entry into the United States on a monthly basis. According to their latest report on January 26, a total of 327,000 people were thoroughly reviewed and given travel approval. Out of this number, there were over 67,000 Cubans, 126,000 Haitians, 53,000 Nicaraguans, and 81,000 Venezuelans.

According to an article from the Center for Immigration Studies, last year, flights approved by CBP brought 320,000 individuals to the United States. Todd Bensman, the author of the article, discovered that these individuals arrived at 43 airports. However, the government declined to disclose the specific airports, citing an exemption under the Freedom of Information Act for law enforcement-sensitive information.

On Wednesday, Bensman expressed his view that the program is not secretive, but rather enigmatic and lacking transparency.

CBP thoroughly screens every migrant for eligibility and provides data on the number of airport arrivals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Contrary to Trump’s claim, these migrants are not coming from “parts unknown.”

Elon Musk’s social media post, along with others, accuses the administration of implementing this strategy to attract voters.

People who are admitted into the country under parole do not have a pathway to citizenship. Although they are able to obtain work permits for a limited period of time, it is important to note that only U.S. citizens are eligible to vote.

Biden has been actively utilizing his parole authority, surpassing all previous presidents in doing so. Trump criticizes this as “an outrageous abuse” and promises to put an end to it if he is re-elected. It is worth noting that Biden has granted parole to over 1 million individuals, regardless of whether they entered the country by land or air. This number includes not only the 327,000 individuals who flew from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, or Venezuela up until December.

According to Angelo Fernández Hernández, a spokesperson from the White House, the reports about clandestinely bringing individuals into the country are completely untrue. He emphasized that individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela undergo thorough screening processes.

No response was received from the Trump campaign and Musk representatives when asked for comment on Wednesday.

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