May 19, 2024

US judge rejects federal challenge to Biden migrant funding plan – March 9, 2024

A US judge in Texas on Friday rejected a challenge by Republican-led states to a Biden administration plan that would have allowed hundreds of thousands of migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to seek emergency entry into the US.

U.S. District Court Judge Drew Tipton in Victoria, Texas, said the 21 states led by Texas were ineligible to file a 2023 lawsuit because they could not demonstrate a plan to allow 30,000 people a month into the United States. harm them.

As of November 2023, approximately 234,000 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans had entered the United States through the program, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). To qualify, immigrants must have a U.S. sponsor and enter by air.

In his ruling, Tipton noted that the number of people entering the United States illegally from the four countries had dropped by a dramatic 44%. The judge did not address the merits of the lawsuit, which alleges DHS lacks authority to implement the program.

The U.S. Department of Justice and Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat in the November 5 presidential election, expanded legal routes into the United States to prevent illegal crossings of the US-Mexico border.

Republicans, including Biden's potential opponent, former President Donald Trump, have said the so-called “parole” programs go beyond what is allowed by law.

While Biden has been president, a record number of immigrants have been apprehended illegally crossing the US-Mexico border. Republicans say Biden should have maintained Trump's more restrictive policies, while arguing that Republicans refused to provide adequate funding for the border and passed legislation that would tighten enforcement.

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The states argued in their lawsuit that the US government's power to use parole requirements is “extraordinarily limited” and can only be used on a case-by-case basis. They say they face irreparable harm as the influx of immigrants raises the cost of public services, including police and emergency medical care.

Tipton, a Trump appointee, said in his judgment the program had the opposite effect.

“A case has been presented to the court in which the plaintiffs allege that they were victimized by a program that actually reduced their costs,” he wrote.