I do not tend to talk about immigration-related matters and often abstain myself from commenting or giving my thoughts on the whole subject as I believe that, given the past five years of my life and all the things I tried to legally migrate with my brother only to fail and well — there would be a bit of a conflict of interests and whatnot.
I’ll preface all of this by saying that I strongly believe that every country has the right to enact whatever restrictions or benefits when it comes to migrant policies that they deem best regardless of my own personal journey on this matter. It’s their problem, not mine.
I’ll make a brief exception this time to give my two cents in one facet that no one talks much about: The Biden Administration’s Humanitarian Parole program, or rather, the business surrounding it that has bloomed as a byproduct.
For those that do not know, the Biden administration launched a program in October that allows U.S citizens and legal residents to “sponsor” a Venezuelan into the United States, allowing them to legally stay and work for a period of two years. The program was eventually expanded to also cover Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans.
I have my own opinions on the whole thing, but I’ll refrain myself and I’ll not pass down judgment on those that have benefited from it.
At the end of the day I honestly don’t pay much attention to it, seeing as both my brother and I are barred from the program for being dual citizens (even though I know the case of at least one neighbor with dual citizenship that lied and got admitted and is right now in the United States).
Whatever it may be, whatever the program ends up being for America, what I’m here to talk about is the business side of it, as I have it on good authority that many have made bank out of the program.
Naturally, while many down here still dream of partaking in the American Dream, not everyone has a sponsor, let alone personally know one that can act as one, and while there’s programs where people can offer themselves to sponsor someone, in true human fashion, some are more than happy to do it — for a price.
I’ve heard cases of people asking for anywhere between $5,000 to 10,000 to act as sponsors. This, to my understanding, doesn’t actually break any laws, and it’s more of a “you” problem for those that decide to go that route — on the other hand, it also means that there’s no legal recourse should you get scammen, and at least in the case of Cubans, there’s been cases of people getting scammed.
It is quite a large sum down here, to be honest, and many, desperate for reaching the American Dream, have begun selling everything to have a shot at it. It is technically a legitimate coyote, if you ask me.
Similarly, travel agencies have begun to capitalize on it, and are straight up offering “parole packages” for beneficiaries of the program, since its up to every beneficiary to cover their own travel expenses.
At the end of the day, and like I said earlier, this program and its ultimate pros and cons are quite literally not my problem. I tried quite a few times at doing things the “right way” and was only met with failure — to the point that I lost a job almost one year ago due to a technicality in its description, which barred me from getting the corresponding U.S. visa, it is what it is, and I’ll just have to play the cards I now have to start a new life in a country I do not know anyone at, nor speak its language yet.