Lawsuit Over Controversial Immigration Policy Begins

( – In October 2022, the Biden administration announced the launch of an initiative granting lawful entry into the United States to as many as 24,000 “qualifying Venezuelans” annually. Three months later, the White House issued a press release detailing President Joe Biden’s decision to expand that parole process to include Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans — extending the limit to up to 30,000 individuals per month from those four Latin American countries. A lawsuit filed in January to halt the controversial immigration policy recently went to trial in a Texas courtroom.

On August 24, the trial began in a lawsuit brought against the Biden administration by 21 Republican-leaning states to stop the initiative. Court documents indicated the plaintiffs argued that federal officials overreached their authority when they created the program.

The plaintiffs also argued in court documents that the program served as an “extreme example” of the Biden administration’s ongoing refusal to enforce the nation’s immigration laws. They noted that current statutes require officials to grant parole on a case-by-case basis for humanitarian reasons and public benefit — not through a blanket immigration policy.

Justice Department lawyers countered that claim in their response to the initial civil complaint. They claimed the initiative had been “tremendously successful” at reducing migrants at the border between the United States and Mexico.

That defense echoes the Biden administration’s initial rationalization for implementing the initiative. They tied the policy to the end of Title 42, claiming that the new program would allow border officials to expedite the removal of individuals to their country of origin.

Team Biden also said the new measures would “encourage [migrants] to seek orderly and lawful pathways” to gaining entry into the US. However, they didn’t explain how their policy would accomplish that goal.

US District Judge Drew Tipton is presiding over the case in the US District Court of the Southern District of Texas. The Victoria, Texas, proceedings will be live-streamed to a federal courtroom located in Houston. Tipton indicated that he expected the trial to take two days. He’s expected to issue a ruling at a later date.

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