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Florida sues Biden administration over 'catch-and-release' program

The Florida attorney general accused the Biden Administration of violating immigration law by not screening migrants prior to releasing them into the country.

Updated: September 28, 2021 - 8:11pm

The state of Florida on Tuesday announced its lawsuit against the Biden administration for its “catch-and-release” policy used at the U.S. southern border. 

In a statement, Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody accused the Biden administration of “ignoring federal immigration law as the crisis at the United States Southern Border intensifies.” 

“President Biden’s lax border policy is an open invitation to dangerous criminals, human traffickers and drug traffickers to enter the United States—creating a crisis at the Southern Border like we have never seen,” Moody said in the statement.

“The federal government cannot simply ignore federal laws because it does not agree with them politically,” she continued. 

Moody also said that the so-called catch-and-release policy is costing Florida taxpayers millions of dollars as a result of the government is not adequately screening immigrants as they come into the country. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis commented on the lawsuit, saying Florida “will continue to hold the federal government accountable for refusing to enforce the immigration laws of this country.”

According to U.S. Code 1225, undocumented immigrants are required by law to undergo a screening process while being detained. This screening process would provide officials with an immigrant’s criminal history, as well as information concerning previous deportations.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the government is able to bypass the law by using its “parole authority” to release migrants into the country “based on humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons.”

Moody stated in the lawsuit that although some migrants “have legitimate asylum claims, many do not.” 

In tandem with the lawsuit, DeSantis issued an executive order preventing Florida resources from being “used to prop up the failed open border agenda enacted by this administration.”

The lawsuit is pending before a federal court in Florida.