A coalition of 20 Republican states and a top conservative legal group announced Tuesday that they were suing the White House over the legality of a recent expansion of a humanitarian parole program that allows thousands of migrants from designated countries into the United States every month.
According to reports, the lawsuit was filed by Texas and America First Legal in the Southern District of Texas and was joined by other states seeking to block the Biden administration’s parole program. The program allows up to 30,000 migrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela into the homeland each month.
In October, the administration announced the program for Venezuelans, allowing a limited number to fly directly into the U.S. as long as they had not entered illegally, had a sponsor already, and passed certain checks. In early January, President Biden announced that the program would expand to include Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Cubans, allowing up to 30,000 a month into the U.S.
The program also allows migrants to receive work permits and a two-year authorization to live in the U.S. and was announced alongside an expansion of Title 42 expulsions to include those nationalities.
“We can provide humanitarian relief consistent with our values, cut out vicious smuggling organizations, and enforce our laws,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement to Fox News.
“Individuals without a legal basis to remain in the U.S. will be subject to prompt expulsion or removal. Individuals who are provided a safe, orderly, and lawful path to the U.S. are less likely to risk their lives traversing thousands of miles in the hands of ruthless smugglers, only to arrive at our southern border and face the legal consequences of unlawful entry.”
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that the program is unlawful given the “exceptionally limited” parole power the federal government has, adding that they have up to 360,000 migrants that could be allowed into the homeland a year.
The suit’s focus is on the limits placed on parole by Congress, saying that the authority is to be used on a “case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”
Officials familiar with the lawsuit say the program is also unlawful because it does not engage in the notice-and-comment rule making required by the Administrative Procedure Act, where immigration policies have temporarily been struck down in the past. The plaintiffs argue that states face substantial irreparable harm from the Department’s abuse of its parole authority, allowing thousands of additional aliens to enter overwhelmed territories. They also note that states face additional costs for health care, education, and other social services.
“Every state in America, especially border states like Texas, is being crushed by the impacts of illegal immigration,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“The Biden open borders agenda has created a humanitarian crisis that is increasing crime and violence in our streets, overwhelming local communities, and worsening the opioid crisis. This unlawful amnesty program, which will invite hundreds of thousands of aliens into the U.S. every year, will only make this immigration crisis drastically worse.”
Despite declaring that the U.S. Southern Border with Mexico is secure, the Biden administration continues to face criticism from Congressional representatives in the House, Senate, and State offices for his lax border policies. As a result, Republican governors in border states like Texas have enacted policies to prevent illegal migrants and drug cartels from crossing into the U.S. while calling on the administration to act.
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