21 Attorneys General Target Biden Parole Program Flying in 30,000 Immigrants Monthly

Attorneys general from 20 different states, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and America First Legal filed a motion on April 4 for a court to reconsider a lawsuit against the Biden administration's use of a parole program for flying immigrants into the United States.

A coalition of 21 Republican attorneys general filed a motion in federal court aiming to halt a Biden administration policy that allows 30,000 immigrants from four countries to fly into the United States each month.

The motion to reconsider is led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and America First Legal (AFL), a conservative legal group. They filed the motion after a federal court dismissed their lawsuit in March for not proving that “Texas has suffered an injury.”

The lawsuit aimed to stop a “parole” scheme that flies thousands of foreign nationals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela (CHNV) into the United States and allows them to remain indefinitely.

Under the program, immigrants are required to apply in advance for parole by providing the name of a person who will agree to provide financial support if their application is approved. Additionally, the applicants must pass a background check and present themselves at a designated Port of Entry instead of entering the United States illegally.

Opponents have criticized the program as an alternative immigration system that bypasses Congress’s control.

“The program allows these aliens—after more or less flying to the destination of their choice—to obtain work permits and ultimately claim public benefits, such as food stamps and welfare. The program floods our country with legions of illegal aliens who should not be here, only further worsening the worst immigration crisis in our nation’s history,” the AFL stated in a release on Friday.

The Biden administration parole program was announced in January 2023 by Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. It was first instituted in October 2022.

The program aimed to reduce the number of illegal border crossings by allowing Venezuelans to fly directly to the United States. The program was later expanded in January 2023 to include Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua.

The administration announced that up to 30,000 individuals per month from these four countries could come to the United States, provided they have an eligible sponsor and pass vetting and background checks. These individuals would also receive work authorization.

The parole program has been challenged by Republican-led states, with Florida filing five lawsuits. They have won two cases so far, one against the federal government and another against Mr. Mayokas in 2023. Both cases have been appealed to the 11th Circuit Court and are still pending.

In March, Florida joined Texas in a case against the DHS, challenging the CHNV program. However, they lost in district court and have appealed the decision.

AFL contends that U.S. District Court Judge Drew Tipton for the Southern District of Texas erred in dismissing their lawsuit.

Judge Tipton, a President Trump appointee, found that the number of CHNV nationals entering the United States had “dramatically decreased” by “as much as 44 percent.” Therefore, the court concluded that Texas lacked standing for not proving injury.

The court found that, when determining whether a state has been injured by a federal policy, it must examine “whether the number of aliens, and the associated amount expended because of them, increased relative to those same numbers prior to the implementation of the challenged program.”

Mr. Mayorkas welcomed that ruling, saying that the program is “a safe and orderly way” for immigrants to reach the United States and claiming that it resulted in a significant reduction in the number of these individuals encountered at our southern border.”

However, the attorneys general argued in their new motion that the courts “repeatedly found facts showing that Texas would be required to spend money because of the CHNV Program.” Specifically, “Texas will inevitably expend some health care resources on CHNV nationals who enter the United States under the Parole Program.”

Furthermore, the Texas court found that CHNV nationals under the age of 18 who come in via the parole program will “inevitably result in at least some costs for Texas.”

This, the attorneys general contend in their motion to reconsider, is injury enough based on precedent.

“Those findings were sufficient to establish standing. ‘For standing purposes, a loss of even a small amount of money is ordinarily an ‘injury,”” their motion reads.

Furthermore, AFL noted that despite initial decreases in border encounters in the first five months after the program was implemented, subsequent data revealed a 25 percent increase, surpassing pre-program levels, which they argue challenged the program’s efficacy as claimed by the Biden administration.

“The court ruling also ignored the significant financial costs that Texas, and all states around the nation, have incurred at the hands of Biden’s parole program. These costs include issuing driver’s licenses, healthcare costs, education, and, of course, increased law enforcement and correctional facility services,” AFL stated.

A report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) published on April 1 found that between October 2022 and February 2024, the CHNV parole program allowed entry to at least 386,000 illegal immigrants.

Of that number, Florida received 325,995, and Texas received 21,964, according to the report.

According to Todd Bensman, a National Security Fellow at CIS, Customs and Border Protection has “withheld … and apparently will not disclose” the names of the 43 U.S. airports that received 320,000 illegal immigrants from January to December 2023, nor the foreign airports from which they departed.

According to Mr. Bensman, all flights carrying these illegal immigrants were “pre-approved” on the CBP One app.

On Friday morning, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that he was “proud” to join the motion with other AGs to “halt the invasion at our southern border.”

T.J. Muscaro contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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