Biden's expanded immigration parole program already faces legal challenge
Florida AG Ashley Moody argues the administration’s misuse of the parole system is unconstitutional and violates federal law established by Congress.
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The immigration parole system President Joe Biden says he’s expanding is already being challenged in court by a lawsuit brought by Florida, arguing the administration’s abuse of it is illegal.
The trial is set to begin Monday, a day after the president is scheduled to visit El Paso. The Texas border city's Democratic mayor declared an emergency last month after the city and the region experienced a humanitarian crisis due to record illegal entries.
On Thursday, the president announced he was expanding a “legal immigration” plan including using an existing parole system to allow an additional 360,000 illegal foreign nationals to be released into the United States. He made the announcement on the same day U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell II in the Northern District of Florida Pensacola Division granted final requests made in a case brought by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody before the trial begins next week.
Biden announced that part of his plan to expand “safe, orderly, and humane processing” for illegal foreign nationals included expanding a federal parole system to allow an additional 30,000 people a month to remain in the U.S. from Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba and Nicaragua – 360,000 in total for the year.
Biden made the announcement after a record 68,044 Cubans and Nicaraguans and 6,232 Venezuelans were apprehended in November illegally entering the U.S., according to CBP data; and after more than 600,000 foreign nationals from all over the world were apprehended or evaded capture in November and December 2022 combined, and a record 3.3 million were apprehended in fiscal 2022.
Biden also claimed that those illegally entering between ports of entry from these four countries would be returned to Mexico. He pledged to give millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money to Mexico to take back 30,000 every month from these four countries.
His commitment to a “safe, orderly, and humane processing” of illegal foreign nationals is consistent with his administration’s expressed support of the United Nation’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The GCM is part of the United Nation’s Agenda 2030 sustainable development plan and has been actively involved with the migration of people all over the globe.
Moody argues the administration’s misuse of the parole system is unconstitutional and violates federal law established by Congress. The majority of people being released into the U.S. by the Biden administration don’t have a legal basis under current asylum law, the practice doesn’t comply with mandatory detention laws and is illegal, Moody maintains.
“Through months of intense discovery, lawyers for Florida uncovered evidence of Biden ignoring public-safety immigration laws allowing more than 1 million unvetted, inadmissible immigrants into the interior,” her office said on Thursday. The upcoming trial “will once again show that the Biden administration is threatening Americans’ safety by intentionally weakening our nation’s border security,” it said.
“Since President Biden took office, he has intentionally dismantled public-safety immigration structures, allowing chaos to reign at our nation’s Southwest Border, and letting unvetted, inadmissible immigrants – along with dangerous individuals and deadly drugs like fentanyl – into our country,” Moody said. “Biden’s actions are beyond irresponsible and put Americans at risk. Now, because of our litigation, the president must defend his reckless actions and refusal to follow the law in a federal courtroom.”
Florida sued Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and others for not enforcing federal immigration law established by Congress. The Immigration Nationality Act requires inadmissible foreign nationals to be detained and repatriated to their home country. Instead, Mayorkas directed federal officials to release them into the U.S.
Under Title 8, the law governing admission into the U.S., federal agents are required to detain applicants until an immigration judge adjudicates their case, including issuing orders for removal. Soon after Biden took office, Mayorkas began dismantling the enforcement and removal processes by issuing several memorandums over which several states sued.
Since March 2021, at least 1 million foreign nationals were unlawfully released into the U.S. through the parole system, Moody argues.
As part of her lawsuit, her staff deposed Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, who testified that the Biden administration was intentionally reducing detention capacity, forcing agents to release the majority of those detained. Plaintiffs also learned that Ortiz instructed agents to release people en masse into the U.S. once the public health authority Title 42 was lifted.
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