Federal court approves Biden’s immigration ‘parole’ plan

The Biden administration scored a major legal victory on Friday in its effort to reduce illegal immigration at the southern border, with a federal judge in Texas ruling that the administration can continue a program that accepts 360,000 immigrants a year from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti.

U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, who has ruled against other immigration policies of the Biden administration, said Republicans opposed the parole programs but failed to show that their states were harmed by the programs. Expanding parole is a key part of President Joe Biden’s border policy amid a surge in border crossings and a reelection campaign in which immigration and border policy take center stage.

“The court finds that plaintiffs have not demonstrated injury to the State of Texas and therefore lack standing to sustain this lawsuit,” Tipton, a Trump appointee in the Southern District of Texas, said in a 31-page dismissal the ruling in the case reads.

The decision preserves a Biden administration policy that officials say has helped reduce overcrowding On the southern border. Since officials introduced the policy in 2019, the number of unauthorized border crossings by Cubans, Nicaraguans and Haitians has dropped significantly. January 2023. The policy requires immigrants to have a U.S. sponsor, undergo background checks and arrive at U.S. airports legally, and officials will use emergency powers called parole to admit them.

White House spokesman Angelo Fernandez Hernandez welcomed Tipton’s ruling and said it showed the Biden administration’s policies were working.

“The district court’s decision was based on the success of the program,” Fernandez Hernandez said in an email. “The Biden-Harris administration remains committed to expanding legal pathways into the United States while imposing consequences for those who do not take advantage of these processes and have no legal basis to remain in the United States.”

Immigration parole explained

Texas and 20 other states argue that the Biden administration illegally expanded the power without consulting Congress or considering the impact on U.S. states absorbing new immigrants.

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who filed a multistate lawsuit against the four states’ parole programs in January 2023, had no immediate comment Friday.

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“This is the outcome we were hoping for,” Karen Tumlin, founder and director of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Justice Action Center, said in a phone interview, adding that the program has helped thousands of fleeing Dangerous and impoverished immigrants seek permission. Enter the United States legally and seek employment.

“This is a huge win for the Biden administration,” she said. “We want them to do more on this. It’s not just Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans who need these pathways.”

Biden administration officials said they created the plan because large numbers of migrants from those countries are crossing the border illegally.them They are difficult to deport due to U.S. tensions with the authoritarian regimes in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, as well as violence in Haiti. The program will launch in Venezuela at the end of 2022, Expand to other countries.

The administration’s overall border strategy is to create more legal ways to enter the United States, such as parole, while threatening harsher penalties, such as deportation, for those who cross illegally.

Since the program began, illegal crossings from Haiti, Cuba and Nicaragua have dropped significantly, according to Customs and Border Protection statistics. The number of Venezuelan crossing attempts varies, with some months declining and others rising sharply.

The Biden administration says parole creates an orderly way for immigrants to apply for asylum and because they have sponsors willing to resettle them, Make sure towns are ready to absorb them. Officials say migrants are also traveling more safely, allowing them to use U.S. airports and skip dangerous treks through Central American jungles and Mexican cities.

After arriving in the United States, immigrants can apply for a two-year work permit and asylum or other immigration status, For example, obtaining permanent residence through immediate family members.

Biden administration officials have said immigrants could still be deported if they don’t qualify for permanent residence.

In contrast, surrendered immigrants Those arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border may be held in overcrowded Border Patrol prisons before being released to shelters in cities like Chicago and New York, which have struggled to keep up with the new arrivals.

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At a bench trial in Tipton in August, Texas officials argued that the border state had a special interest in protecting its budget and ensuring federal immigration officials enforced the law.

They argue that the financial burden on Texas includes the state’s costs of issuing driver’s licenses, providing health care and education. The state argued that the parole program would increase the number of immigrants in the state, thereby increasing the state’s costs.

But Tipton said data during the trial showed arrivals from those four groups dropped, costing Texas less. He said in the lawsuit that a different decision might have been made if Texas showed the state was harmed by the program in the future.

Justice Department lawyers defended the federal parole authority during the trial, noting that the agency has existed since the 1950s and was designed to quickly admit foreigners. They say the plan is a reasonable solution that should help border states like Texas by reducing the number of new border crossings.

Tipton has previously blocked Biden’s immigration policies. Shortly after the president took office, a judge ended Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deportations.

In August 2021, Tipton halted a Biden administration policy aimed at shielding millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States from deportation.this The Supreme Court rejected his argument It reinstated the policy in June, saying the government had the right to set its own implementation priorities.

In a separate decision Friday, Tipton temporarily blocked the Biden administration from halting construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and using funds for environmental restoration and other purposes. Texas, Missouri and the Texas General Land Office sued, arguing that Congress authorized construction of the border wall and that Biden must carry out the project.

Tipton stayed his order for seven days so the government could appeal, but the Justice Department had no immediate comment on his Friday ruling. Paxton welcomed the ruling in a press release.

Nick Miroff contributed to this report.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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