August 01, 2023

Senator Warren, Massachusetts Delegation Urge Biden Administration to Streamline Work Authorizations for New Arrivals Paroled into the United States

“Massachusetts will continue to welcome and assist new arrivals as they resettle across the Commonwealth. The federal government can help relieve the strain on available resources in the Commonwealth by removing obstacles new arrivals face when trying to work legally."

Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), along with Representatives Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Lori Trahan (D-Mass.), Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), James McGovern (D-Mass.), Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Bill Keating (D-Mass.) sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ur M. Jaddou, urging them to expedite the processing of employment authorization documents (EADs) for individuals paroled into the United States, which would lessen the strain on available humanitarian and housing resources. 

“Over the past year, the Biden administration has increased the number of vulnerable noncitizens eligible to enter the United States under various humanitarian parole programs. Massachusetts is welcoming many of these new arrivals with open arms,” wrote the lawmakers. “But stakeholders across the state — from local governments to housing nonprofits to legal aid groups — are being stretched to capacity as they work tirelessly to meet the needs of immigrant families that are left housing insecure because they cannot work legally and support themselves during their periods of parole.” 

Individuals paroled into the United States from ports of entry and through the parole program for nationals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela (CHNV) are not automatically authorized to work. Instead, they must apply for EADs and wait for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process the application. USCIS’s processing times of EAD applications are often six months or longer. In the meantime, these families have no way of working legally in the United States to support themselves financially. 

Without access to legal work opportunities and incomes, many depend on public and nonprofit housing shelters. As the only state with a right to shelter, Massachusetts is committed to assisting newly arriving families with housing. But the state government, as well as municipalities and nonprofits across Massachusetts, are facing significant strain as they work to meet the needs of families seeking shelter. 

“Massachusetts will continue to welcome and assist new arrivals as they resettle across the Commonwealth. The federal government can help relieve the strain on available resources in the Commonwealth by removing obstacles new arrivals face when trying to work legally. We urge the Administration to use its broad authority to streamline and expedite the processing of work authorization requests for new arrivals,” wrote the lawmakers

Senator Warren has led ongoing efforts to protect the rights of asylum seekers and other migrants, and to hold the United States accountable to its humanitarian obligations: 

  • In March 2023, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and 9 other senators submitted a public comment against the Biden administration’s proposed rule to restrict asylum at the southern border. The senators called on the Biden administration to withdraw the rule in its entirety.
  • In January 2023, Senator Warren and nearly 70 other lawmakers sent a letter urging President Biden to reverse his Administration’s expansion of the inhumane Trump-era border policy known as Title 42 and to abandon the proposed asylum “transit ban” rule. The lawmakers also encouraged the President and his Administration to work with Congress to ensure they develop safe, humane, and orderly border policies that enforce our immigration laws and uphold the right to asylum under domestic and international law.
  • In September 2022,  Senator Warren led members of the Massachusetts delegation in a letter to DHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency calling for funding from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program to be allocated swiftly to organizations assisting newly arrived migrants in Massachusetts. 
  • Also in September 2022, Senator Warren released a statement condemning efforts to use asylum seekers as political pawns and committing to assisting communities in need. 
  • In November 2021, Senator Warren stated her opposition to the continued use of Title 42 to expel asylum seekers and called for the Biden administration to rescind this policy.
  • In October 2021, Senator Warren joined Senator Menendez in criticizing the inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants and called on the Administration to support long-term stability in Haiti.  
  • In October 2021, during his confirmation hearing to be CBP Commissioner, Senator Warren called for Commissioner Chris Magnus to commit to transparency regarding the investigation into the events in Del Rio, Texas.