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CBP One App

Fast Track Work Authorization For Migrants Crossing Legally Using CBP One


The Biden administration is quietly pursuing a “legal pathway” to grant faster work permits for migrants who cross the border lawfully. This pilot program, currently operating in Texas and California, aims to address the urgent need for legal work authorization in Democrat-led cities struggling to support large numbers of arriving migrants. Through the CBP One app, operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, migrants can pre-register for work permits, reducing processing time from months to mere weeks. The average processing time for CBP One work permits is approximately 30 days. This initiative not only assists cities facing resource constraints but also incentivizes migrants to wait patiently through lawful channels, potentially alleviating pressure at the border. This fast-track program, still in its early stages, represents a potential alternative to more restrictive border measures while addressing the immediate needs of both migrants and municipalities.

Kari Lenander, executive director of Border Servant Corps, the nonprofit hosting USCIS in its El Paso migrant logistics center, said:

“It seems like an incentive for people to come through CBP One, rather than cross illegally between ports of entry.”

Using the CBP One app, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) pre-registers migrants at the border and expedites work permit processing for those paroled into the country. This aims to reduce the burden on cities like New York and Chicago, which struggle to support migrants lacking work authorization. New York Mayor Adams pleaded for work permit access to help the thousands seeking shelter and struggling without employment options. By offering temporary work permits quickly, the program incentivizes migrants to wait in Mexico for processing rather than attempt illegal crossings. Initial results show migrants receiving work authorization cards within four weeks, highlighting the efficiency of the new process.

Officials also hope to educate migrants about work authorization upon their arrival, integrating them into the system as soon as possible.

This initiative underscores the Biden administration’s efforts to create legal pathways for migrants while addressing concerns about border security and managing the influx of people entering the country.

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I’m Mario Godoy. I’m an immigrant, a citizen and an immigration lawyer. I saw what happened to my family, and that’s why I became an immigration lawyer.

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