The requests for the humanitarian parole program pending review for Cubans exceeded 380,000 at the end of April. Cuba is the second country with the highest number of requests, only surpassed by Haiti with 580,000. It is followed by Venezuela with almost 120,000 cases and Nicaragua with 20,000.
Internal Department of Homeland Security documents that CBS News had access to indicate the agency was receiving an average “overwhelming number” of nearly 12,000 requests a day from citizens of the four countries.
The hundreds of thousands of pending cases have caused “significant” wait times for applicants. The Department noted that it had recently decided to use a random selection method to allocate half of the approximately 1,000 travel authorizations issued each day under this program.
According to authorities, border crossings have decreased due to the increase in deportations of those who enter the United States illegally and a restriction that disqualifies many migrants for asylum.
In February of this year, 6,548 Cubans appeared at the border, a reduced number compared to the 44,078 who crossed in December 2022, according to the Customs and Border Protection Office.
Since the program was implemented on January 6 of this year, some 14,000 Cubans have arrived in the United States.
The Biden administration’s initiative allows legal entry to the United States, for humanitarian reasons, of citizens of Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela who do not have permanent residence in a third country and have a sponsor who is responsible for their expenses.