Judge blisters Biden DOJ, rejects emergency order to allow release of illegal migrants into U.S.

The administration informed the court it intends to appeal a federal judge’s ruling to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Published: May 13, 2023 12:49pm

Updated: May 13, 2023 11:05pm

In a blistering critique, a federal judge late Saturday denied the Biden Justice Department’s request to stay a temporary restraining order blocking the release of illegal immigrants into the United States without court dates.

U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell II, a Trump appointee in Florida, called the Biden administration’s request for an emergency stay “borderline frivolous” and “Chicken Little.”

The ruling left the DOJ to seek relief from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, a move which earlier in the day officials said they were prepared to do.

The judge said the administration had no basis to release migrants into the country’s interior without a court date now that the Trump-era Title 42 policy had expired.

“DHS’s Chicken Little arguments about the impact of it not being able to (mis)use ‘parole’ under either policy as a processing tool for the surge of aliens arriving at the border are hard to square with the DHS Secretary’s recent comments that only ‘a fraction of the people that we encounter’ would be paroled into the country and that ‘the vast majority will be addressed in our border patrol facilities and our ICE detention facilities,’" Wetherell wrote

Earlier in the day, the Biden Justice Department had sought an emergency order allowing it to continue releasing illegal aliens into the United States.

DOJ attorneys had asked Wetherell for a two-week restraining order on the Biden administration policy

The administration informed the court that it intends to appeal Wetherell’s ruling to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Biden administration’s policy was described in a Border Patrol memo this week, saying that migrants can be allowed into the country on parole if CBP is facing overcrowding. The parole process is typically reserved for "urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”

The administration argues that the restraining order on its parole policy will "irreparably harm the United States and the public by frustrating measures that are necessary to secure the border and protect the health and welfare of both migrants and Border Patrol Agents," the filing states.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody argued in the state’s lawsuit that the "parole with conditions" policy was materially identical to a policy blocked by Wetherell in March, and he agreed with that assessment in his order.

Wetherell was not persuaded by the government's arguments that blocking migrant releases will cause harm. 

"Putting aside the fact that even President Biden recently acknowledged that the border has been in chaos for 'a number of years,' Defendants' doomsday rhetoric rings hollow because, as explained in detail in Florida, this problem is largely one of Defendants' own making through the adoption an implementation of policies that have encouraged the so-called 'irregular migration' that has become fairly regular over the past 2 years," he wrote.

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