Biden administration has admitted more than 1 million migrants into U.S. under parole policy, Congress is considering restricting

More than 1 million people have been allowed to enter the U.S. under Biden administration programs based on the immigration parole authority that Congress is considering restricting at the request of Republican lawmakers, according to internal government data obtained by CBS News.

Since President Biden took office in 2021, his administration has used immigration parole at a historic scale, invoking the decades-old law to welcome hundreds of thousands of foreigners fleeing armed conflicts in Afghanistan and Ukraine, or political and economic crises in countries like Haiti and Venezuela.

Since 1952, parole has empowered federal officials to welcome migrants who don’t have the visas that are typically required to enter the U.S. The law allows these entries if they further a humanitarian cause or public benefit, but it does not give beneficiaries permanent legal status. Instead, migrants paroled into the country are permitted to live and work in the U.S. for a period of time, typically one or two years.

The Biden administration has argued its use of parole has allowed it to respond to emergency situations, such as the Taliban’s reconquest of Afghanistan and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and to reduce illegal crossings at the southern border by offering would-be migrants legal channels to come to the U.S. Biden administration officials have said they’ve acted unilaterally since Congress has not expanded legal immigration pathways since 1990.