Following an announcement by the Biden administration that it will soon begin a new immigration program, Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Chris Olivarez is warning it could essentially “legalize illegal immigration.”

The Biden administration announced Friday that it will soon start a new immigration program called “Family Reunification Parole” (FRP) to allow immigrants from certain Central American countries and Colombia to enter the U.S. legally.

The administration hopes the new program will deter illegal aliens from making the dangerous trip from these countries and promote family unity. 

“These new processes promote family unity and provide lawful pathways consistent with our laws and our values,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The Department has proven that the expansion of safe, orderly, and lawful pathways, combined with strong enforcement, is effective in reducing dangerous, irregular migration to the United States.”

The new process would be limited to citizens of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras whose family members are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Noncitizens would be allowed to apply for parole to enter the country “only on a discretionary, case-by-case, and temporary basis upon a demonstration of urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”

Individuals paroled in the U.S. will be eligible to request employment authorization while waiting for their visa. When they have obtained their visa, they will be able to apply to become a permanent resident. 

However, while the Biden administration says this will help to deter illegal aliens from flooding the southern border and making the dangerous trip across the Rio Grande river, Lt. Olivarez believes the new program will have disastrous effects.

“This is going to be a complete disaster. It’s not going to stop mass migration,” Olivarez says during a recent interview on Fox and Friends. “Yes, numbers have declined between the ports of entry as far as a number of encounters, but a lot of these illegal immigrants are being released at the ports of entry.” 

“Essentially, the federal government is legalizing illegal immigration. And all that’s going to do is create a much larger magnet for people to make their way to the United States, because they know for a fact that they have family and friends that have been released to the country as mentioned in this policy,” he added.

Meanwhile, DPS has begun installing buoy border barriers across the Rio Grande, starting in Eagle Pass. Olivarez applauded the move, saying it’s crucial to ending human smuggling and saving lives.

“This is going to help curb illegal immigration, it’s going to prevent smugglers from bringing people across, and also—most importantly—it’s going to prevent the loss of life and number of deaths and drownings that have been taking place,” said Olivarez.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.