Chairman Green Threatens to Compel Testimony Following DHS’s Refusal to Comply with Subpoena Over CHNV Parole Program
September 27, 2023
“To date, the Department has produced zero pages of material responsive to the Committee’s subpoena”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) sent a follow-up letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, demanding compliance with the Committee’s August 22, 2023 subpoena for critical data and information regarding the department’s Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan (CHNV) parole program. The Committee first requested this information on April 27, 2023 and, after 103 days of delinquency from DHS, the Committee issued a subpoena granting DHS seven days to produce the requested documents and information.
This week’s letter warns DHS that the Committee could compel testimony from DHS’s Office of Legislative Affairs staff and Secretary Mayorkas should the department continue to stonewall Congressional oversight efforts. This investigation comes as 211,000 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans have been granted parole by DHS and released into the interior since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2023 under the CHNV parole program, which DHS is shielding from proper Committee oversight. Read more in Bloomberg via Ellen Gilmer.
In the letter, Chairman Green states, “As part of the Committee’s oversight, on August 22, 2023, after numerous efforts to obtain voluntary compliance from the Department, the Committee issued a subpoena for documents and communications related to the CHNV parole program, with a return date of August 29, 2023. Despite an outstanding subpoena for records, the Department refuses to provide a timely production. The Department’s continued stonewalling of a legitimate Congressional inquiry is unacceptable.”
Chairman Green continues,“The Committee requires the subpoenaed data, documents, and other information to evaluate potential legislation to reform the Department’s parole authority. The Department’s continued failure to comply with the subpoena deprives the Department’s authorizing Committee from reviewing critically important data. If the Department fails to make a good faith effort to begin complying with the Committee’s subpoena by September 29, 2023, the Committee will consider taking additional steps to obtain the information it requires. Specifically, the Committee will consider compelling the testimony of Ms. Buetow and Mr. Pal to explain the continued delay in complying with the Committee’s constitutional responsibility to conduct investigations. Additionally, if we do not receive a production by September 29, 2023, the Committee will work with the Department to identify a date for you to appear and testify about your knowledge of the Department’s parole program.”
Read the full letter here.
The Immigration and Nationality Act grants DHS a limited authority to grant parole and release for otherwise inadmissible aliens into the country “on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.” Using this very limited authority, the Biden administration created the Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan (CHNV) parole program. In addition, the Department expanded the use of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s CBP One app from its intended commercial use to allow illegal immigrants who participate in the CHNV parole program to schedule appointments to appear at ports of entry and be released into the country under a two-year work authorization.