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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Since the expansion of a federal immigration “parole” program, illegal immigration from the four countries covered by the program has decreased by more than 90%.

The program, which formerly applied only to Venezuela, was extended to Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua in early January. It allows up to 30,000 migrants per month who secure a financial sponsor to stay in the U.S. on a “temporary period of parole” of up to two years. The program remains in effect pending a ruling on a Republican-led court challenge.

In December 2022, Southwest border encounters with migrants from the four countries totalled 87,531. In March 2023, these encounters fell to 3,827 — a 95.6% drop. Overall encounters declined too, from 252,012 in December 2022 to 191,899 in March 2023 — fewer than the 222,574 encounters recorded in March 2022.

U.S. officials expect encounters to rise following the May 11 ending of Title 42, which allowed immigration authorities to expel migrants without an asylum hearing.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


White House FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Border Enforcement Actions

US Citizenship and Immigration Services Processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans

Reuters Biden policy allowing migrants to enter US challenged by states

Google Docs Southwest border encounters (Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, Venezuela) December 2022 to March 2023

US Customs and Border Protection Southwest Land Border Encounters

Department of Homeland Security Circumvention of Lawful Pathways


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Erin Gretzinger / Wisconsin WatchReporting Intern

Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.