The state of Florida is suing the Biden administration over its “illegal” catch-and-release policies at the Southern Border, saying they cause harm to the state’s “quasi-sovereign interests,” while claiming officials are either in violation of federal immigration law, or simply abusing their authority.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed the suit against the administration Tuesday, as part of a joint effort with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to “uphold the rule of law despite the Biden administration’s decision to violate the law.”
The suit was filed in the Pensacola Division of the Northern District of Florida. Moody is not seeking a preliminary injunction. The defendants in the suit are the Department of Homeland Security, its component agencies, like Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, top officials from ICE, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The attorney general is also suing the United States itself.
Fox News exclusively obtained Florida’s lawsuit against the Biden administration Tuesday.
“The Biden administration’s illegal border policies cause Florida harm,” the lawsuit states. “Many of the aliens illegally released by the Biden administration are arriving, or will arrive in Florida, harming the state’s quasi-sovereign interests and forcing it to incur millions of dollars in expenses.”
Under U.S. code 1225, when individuals arrive in the United States, either at ports of entry, or when caught crossing the border illegally, they are considered “arriving aliens” under immigration laws.
Under U.S. code, those individuals are required to be detained until a decision is made as to whether they are to be admitted to the country. This rule applies even if the individual is claiming asylum–an immigration judge would determine if they are entitled to asylum before release into the U.S. interior.
The only exception to the rule is the federal government’s “parole authority,” which allows releasing aliens into the interior immediately, but may only be used on a “case-by-case basis” and only for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”
Moody’s suit alleges that the Biden administration’s immigration policy is either in violation of these rules, or simply an abuse of their parole authority.
“The government is not free to ignore the clear commands of Congress,” the lawsuit states. “It has claimed that it lacks the resources and detention capacity to process the surge of migrants at the border.”
The lawsuit alleges that the Biden administration “has actively sought to eliminate measures that increase its resources and detention capacity, such as the Migrant Protection Protocols (also known as the ‘wait in Mexico policy’), and has even asked Congress to reduce the number of immigration detention beds available to it.”
“Further, it is the Biden administration’s misguided policies that have encouraged more migrants to make the dangerous journey to the United States,” the lawsuit says. “The government cannot, therefore, use a purported lack of resources as an excuse to ignore congressional mandates.”
Moody warned that most people who claim asylum are ultimately denied, and many who claim asylum do so fraudulently.
“Once people are released into the interior, the federal government may never find them,” Moody’s office said.
Moody’s office said that the United States, since President Biden took office in January, has released at least 225,000 migrants at the border.
Moody argued that those illegal border crossers come to Florida– a state that spends more than $100 million per year incarcerating criminal illegal aliens, and provides a number of other services to unlawfully present individuals, including education, substance abuse treatment, crime victim’s services, and emergency medical services.
Florida is asking the court to “hold unlawful and set aside” the Biden administration’s policy of “releasing arriving aliens subject to mandatory detention, of paroling aliens without engaging in case-by-case adjudication or abiding by the other limits on that authority; and of failing to serve charging documents or initiate removal proceedings against plainly inadmissible aliens who are being released into the interior of the United States.”
Florida is also asking the court to issue “permanent injunctive relief,” compel the Biden administration to comply with requirements pursuant to U.S. code; issue declaratory relief declaring the policy unlawful’ and award Florida costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
The lawsuit comes after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered more than 200,000 migrants at the southern border in August–the second month in a row where the number has been over the 200,000 mark as migrants continue to attempt to enter the U.S.
This is an excerpt from Fox News.
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