Twenty states filed a lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas accusing the Biden administration of enacting an illegal parole policy. According to the 39-page lawsuit, it is based on the allegation that the administration, through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in an attempt to prevent illegal border crossings, has created a new humanitarian visa program (Parole) without the congressional approval required by law. The states opposed to the program claimed that DHS’s parole power is “exceptional,” and that the program is illegal because it does not follow the administrative process established by law.
The lawsuit, led by Texas, seeks to block the program that allows the entry of 30,000 migrants a month from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti who have sponsors and arrive in the country by plane. Support for the program was also backed by the conservative group America First Legal, arguing that the government does not have the legal right to grant this permission, and that Congress should make the decision “on a case-by-case basis” and for “humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.” The plaintiffs asserted that the government has “exceptional power” to grant this benefit, and that the program is illegal because it does not follow the administrative process prescribed by law.
The 225-page report by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union, titled “The Landscape of Immigration Detention in the United States,” notes how the Biden administration has made significant changes to improve detention conditions and the quality of life for migrants, but also describes how difficulties have been faced in implementing parole policy. The report also notes that parole is a temporary measure, not a definitive solution to immigration reform.
The lawsuit states that the government has failed to consider the interests of the states, and has violated the law in enacting the parole policy. The lawsuit states that the states have been affected, both directly and indirectly, due to the implementation of the policy, The report notes that the states will have to assume a significant financial burden to provide services to migrants who have been granted parole. The states are seeking an injunction to block implementation of the program.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare the parole policy illegal and to prevent the Biden administration from issuing any parole visas until it complies with statutory procedures. The case is currently before the court, and the states expect the court to issue a decision in the near future.
We will be reporting on the court’s decision regarding this lawsuit and the future of the humanitarian parole program.
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