A Florida federal judge Wednesday threw a monkey wrench into Biden administration plans to quickly release illegal aliens from detention.
U.S. District Court for Florida’s Northern District Judge T. Kent Witherell, II, agreed with Florida officials who asked the court to block the newest administration immigration directive. State officials argued President Biden’s “non-detention” policy mirrored the previous “Parole + ATD” policy that he ruled illegal.
“While some arriving migrants have legitimate asylum claims, many do not,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody stated in the state’s lawsuit. “Some are gang members and drug traffickers exploiting the crisis at the border, as evidenced by the skyrocketing amount of Fentanyl seized at the border this year.”
“President Biden is aiding and abetting criminal cartels,” AG Moody added.
Witherell stated the Biden administration has made the southwest border a mere speed bump for aliens flooding into the U.S. The judge described Biden’s southern border as “a meaningless line in the sand,” according to a report from Click Orlando.
Fox News further reported:
The White House on Friday said that a ruling that blocked the administration’s ability to release migrants without court dates into the interior is an act of “sabotage” just as other administration agencies decried it as “harmful.”
“So let me just say on the ruling that you just laid out to me. So, look, the way we see that it’s sabotage, it’s pure and simple,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at the White House press briefing. “That’s how that reads to us.”
Jean-Pierre was reacting to a ruling handed down late Thursday which granted a two-week restraining order on the “parole with conditions” policy.
The policy was outlined in a Border Patrol memo this week, which says that migrants can be allowed into the country on parole — a process typically reserved for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit” — if Customs and Border Protection (CBP) faces overcrowding. The memo calls the practice “parole with conditions” as migrants are required to make an appointment with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or request a Notice to Appear by mail.
Under a parole release, migrants are rapidly released into the country, do not get an alien registration number and do not receive a court date.
The use of parole is being authorized if a sector capacity goes above 125%, if agents apprehend 7,000 a day over 72 hours or if average time in custody goes above 60 hours.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sued over the move, arguing that it was materially identical” to a “Parole + ATD” policy blocked by the same judge in March. Judge Wetherell agreed with that assessment in his order.
“…The Court has no trouble concluding that Florida has a substantial likelihood of success on the merits because the challenged policy appears to be materially indistinguishable from the Parole+ATD policy vacated in Florida—both in its purpose (reducing overcrowding at border patrol facilities) and manner of operation (releasing aliens into the country without first issuing a charging document placing them in immigration proceedings and simply directing the aliens to report to ICE within a specified period for further processing),” he said.
The order came as migrants surged to the U.S. border as the Title 42 public health order — which allows for the quick removal of migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic — expired. Agents encountered over 10,000 migrants on multiple days and there were more than 25,000 in custody as of Friday morning.
DHS had warned that blocking the use of parole has the potential to cause chaos at the border, and estimated that doing so would result in an overwhelming 45,000 migrants in custody by the end of May.
The judge said he did not find those arguments persuasive.
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