House to examine DHS phone app used to mass-release foreign nationals into U.S.


A joint U.S. House subcommittee hearing scheduled Thursday will examine Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ CBP One App being used “to mass-parole hundreds of thousands of inadmissible aliens into the United States.”

Two U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security subcommittees, Border Security and Enforcement, and Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability, will hold the hearing, chaired by Reps. Clay Higgins, R-Louisiana, and Dan Bishop, R-North Carolina, respectively.

The CBP One App was launched on Oct. 28, 2020, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for commercial purposes to facilitate the efficient movement of commercial goods into the U.S. Mayorkas repurposed it in January 2023 and subsequently revised it in May and November 2023 to allow 1,000 daily appointments for foreign nationals to obtain entry into the U.S.

“Noncitizens located in Central or Northern Mexico who seek to travel to the United States” are instructed to use the app “to submit information in advance and schedule an appointment to present themselves at Southwest Border land ports of entry,” CBP explains. The ports are Nogales, Arizona; Brownsville, Eagle Pass, Hidalgo, Laredo, and El Paso, Texas; and Calexico and San Ysidro, California.

After the app was launched, Texas sued, arguing, “The Biden Administration deliberately conceived of this phone app with the goal of illegally pre-approving more foreign aliens to enter the country and go where they please once they arrive.” Under current law, foreign nationals are allowed to be “paroled” or released into the country on “a case-by-case and temporary basis, for significant public benefit or urgent humanitarian need.” The app violates the law, Texas, and House Republicans argue.

The policy was among over a dozen identified by the House Homeland Security Committee as illegal and used to impeach Mayorkas. He was the first cabinet secretary to be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors in U.S. history last month.

“Secretary Mayorkas has ignored a co-equal branch of government by unlawfully abusing the CBP One app to grant mass parole to hundreds of thousands of otherwise-inadmissible aliens at our Southwest border under the smokescreen of lawful entry – often with limited or no vetting,” Higgins and Bishop said in a statement. “We know the vast majority of the individuals who schedule an appointment with the app are released into the interior, showing this now-impeached DHS secretary has no intention of ending the historic crisis at our borders or the perverse incentives that helped create it. Next week is an important opportunity to demand accountability from this administration and get more answers on an open-borders scheme that DHS has tried their best to hide from the American people.”

Mayorkas said the app would help reduce long lines at ports of entry and illegal border crossings between ports of entry. Within one year, the greatest number of foreign nationals illegally entered the U.S. in history of nearly 4 million in fiscal 2023 and again in the first quarter of fiscal 2024, The Center Square reported.

This includes from Jan. 1, 2023, to Jan. 31, 2024, when 459,118 foreign nationals “successfully scheduled appointments to present at ports of entry using CBP One” CBP said.

Last month, approximately 45,000 foreign nationals were processed into the country after making appointments through the app, The Center Square reported.

CBS News also reported that illegal foreign nationals used the app 64 million times to request entry into the United States. Last year, The Washington Examiner reported that cartels were exploiting its use.

According to documents the House Homeland Security committee received from DHS, from Jan. 12, 2023, to Sept. 30, 2023, 95.8% of all inadmissible aliens who scheduled appointments through the app were issued a “Notice to Appear” and released into the U.S. on parole.

Mayorkas argues he has discretion granted to him by Congress to implement policies. Federal judges in lawsuits filed against him, and House Republicans who impeached him, argue he doesn’t. In a recent district court ruling, a federal judge allowed Mayorkas’ parole programs to proceed, arguing the states that sued didn’t have standing.

Last April, the House Homeland Security Committee introduced the Border Reinforcement Act to restrict the app’s use and restore it to its original intent. It was incorporated into HR 2, the Secure the Border Act, which the House passed last year. The Senate has yet to consider the bill.

The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. ET and livestreamed on YouTube and the Committee’s website.