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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.
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