FIRST IN FOX: A coalition of 20 states and a leading conservative legal group is suing the Biden administration over its recently expanded humanitarian parole program that allows tens of thousands of immigrants from designated countries to enter the US for one month, arguing that the program is illegal.
The lawsuit, filed by Texas and America First Legal in the Southern District of Texas, is joined by 19 additional states seeking to block the Biden administration’s parole program that allows up to 30,000 immigrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela to enter to USA every month.
The Biden administration announced the program for Venezuelans in October, which allowed a limited number to fly directly to the US as long as they had not entered illegally, already had a sponsor in the US, and passed certain checks.
Earlier this month, President Biden announced that the program would be expanded to include Haitians, Nicaraguans and Cubans, and that the program would allow up to 30,000 per month into the US. It was announced along with an expansion of the Title 42 expulsions to include those nationalities.
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“We anticipate this action will substantially reduce the number of people attempting to cross our southwest border without going through legal process,” he said.
In the lawsuit, led by Texas and America First Legal and joined by 19 other Republican-led states, the plaintiffs argue that the program is illegal given the “exceptionally limited” parole power available to the federal government.
The lawsuit notes that Congress limits probation to be used “on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit,” a standard the lawsuit says the program does not meet.
“The probation program established by the Department fails on every one of the three limiting factors of the law. It is not on a case-by-case basis, it is not for urgent humanitarian reasons, and it does not promote any significant public benefit. Instead, it amounts to the creation of a new visa program that allows hundreds of thousands of aliens to enter the United States who otherwise would have no basis to do so. This flouts, rather than follows, the clear limits imposed by Congress.”
The Biden administration has said the program is one of several ways it is expanding legal migration pathways as a way to combat the continued surge of immigrants at the border that has seen record numbers arrive at the border each month, and is asking Congress to approve it. a broader immigration reform bill.
Separately, he has used humanitarian parole to allow Afghans and Ukrainians into the US in the past year. But conservative critics have said the latest program is illegal and facilitates, rather than stems, the flood of immigrants.
The lawsuit says the program is also illegal because it failed to engage in the notice and comment regulations required by the Administrative Procedure Act, by which various immigration policies have been struck down, at least temporarily, in recent years. It also argues that states “face substantial and irreparable harm from the Department’s abuse of its parole authority, potentially allowing hundreds of thousands of additional aliens to enter each of its already overwhelmed territories.”
“Every state in America, especially border states like Texas, are being crushed by the impacts of illegal immigration,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Biden’s open borders agenda has created a humanitarian crisis that is increasing crime and violence on our streets, overwhelming local communities, and worsening the opioid crisis. This illegal amnesty program, which will invite hundreds of thousands of aliens into the United States every year, will only make this immigration crisis dramatically worse.”
The lawsuit also marks the latest in a series of legal challenges to the Biden administration’s policies by America First Legal, a conservative legal group launched by former Trump White House official Stephen Miller, whom he described as “at front lines of the legal battle to save America’s borders from total annihilation at the hands of this lawless administration.”
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Miller called Biden’s program “pre-amnesty for what would be illegal aliens even before they reach our border.” He also compared it to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which granted protection from deportation to illegal immigrants who came to the United States as minors.
“This is a dramatic escalation in the open border crusade: Biden not only freely admits illegal aliens arriving at our borders, but is now going to foreign countries to pre-approve countless illegal aliens to flood our country without any legal basis. . which. It is illegal, unconstitutional and despicable,” he said.
The states joining the lawsuit with Texas are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. .
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The new parole program came after more than 250,000 migrants were found at the southern border in December, a new record. However, the Biden administration has said that it believes that the new measures are already having an effect and that there has been a drop in migrant encounters at the border of those nationalities.
“The December update shows that our new border control measures are working. Even though overall encounters increased as smugglers spread misinformation about the court-ordered lifting of the Title 42 public health order, we continue to see a sharp decline in the number of Venezuelans illegally crossing our southwest border , 82% less than in September 2022.” Acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Troy Miller said in a statement last week. “Early data suggests that the expanded measures for Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans are having a similar impact, and we look forward to sharing additional data in the next update.