By Bethany Blankley (The Center Square)
Twenty states led by Texas on Tuesday sued the Biden administration over different immigration policies they say are illegal.
A new U.S. Department of Homeland Security program “illegitimately creates a de facto pathway to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of aliens,” argues Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, citing a plan by President Joe Biden announced January 5th.
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Part of the plan is to expand a parole system to allow an additional 360,000 foreign nationals in the country to be illegally released into the United States, a system Florida has already been charged with. Florida’s case went to trial the same day Biden announced he was expanding the system that Florida is asking a judge to stop.
The proposed expansion would allow up to 30,000 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans to enter the U.S. per month, and Mexico would have to detain another about 30,000 per month at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. The president claimed that those who entered illegally between ports of entry from these four countries would be returned to Mexico. Those applying for a work permit could receive a two-year permit to live in the US under the program. If the law enacted by Congress were enforced, the majority of people who apply for this program would be denied entry.
The plan applies to citizens of four countries who have increasingly entered the US illegally since Biden took office.
In fiscal 2022 and the first three months of fiscal 2023, for example, a record number of Cubans and Haitians have been apprehended by US Coast Guard and Border Patrol agents trying to enter Florida illegally. Similarly, a record number of Nicaraguans and Venezuelans have been apprehended at the southern border, according to data from Customs and Border Protection.
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On January 5 again DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claimed “the border was closed” and expanding the parole system would “provide humanitarian assistance consistent with our values, eliminate vicious smuggling organizations and enforce our laws.” He also said: “Individuals without a legal basis to remain in the United States will be immediately deported or removed. Individuals given a safe, orderly, and legal path to the United States are less likely to risk their lives traveling thousands of miles in the hands of ruthless smugglers, only to arrive at our southern border and face the legal consequences of illegal entry. ”
Paxton argues the program is illegal because Congress only authorized parole “for foreign aliens who meet very specific standards that have not been met in this case. But, contrary to existing law, the program creates a path for program participants to apply from their home countries and obtain legal status to enter the U.S. and stay for up to two years or even longer .”
Like the previous expansion of the parole system, this program was implemented “without participating in the usual legally required notice and comment process,” argues Paxton, which is “another episode in which the government has abused its executive power to promote the ostensible goal of immigration policy: open borders and amnesty for all.”
Paxton said Biden’s border policy is creating a humanitarian crisis and major problems for border states.
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“Every state in America, especially border states like Texas, is being crushed by the impact of illegal immigration,” he said. “The Biden open borders agenda has created a humanitarian crisis that is increasing crime and violence on our streets, overwhelming local communities and exacerbating the opioid crisis. This illegal amnesty program, which will invite hundreds of thousands of aliens to the US every year, will only dramatically exacerbate this immigration crisis.”
The complaint notes that the parole system can only be applied “on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or for significant public benefit”, and not en masse as it is used or suggested.
“The parole program established by the department does not meet each of the law’s three limiting factors. It is not on a case-by-case basis, it is not for urgent humanitarian reasons and it does not serve any significant public interest. Instead, it comes down to creating a new visa program that will allow hundreds of thousands of aliens to enter the United States who otherwise have no basis to do so. This goes against clear limits imposed by Congress, rather than following them,” the complaint states.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas Victoria Division. The defendants include Mayorkas, Ur Jaddou, Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Acting Commissioner for US Customs and Border Protection, Troy Miller, and Acting Director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tae Johnson, and their respective agencies.
The plaintiffs, who join Paxton, include the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah , West Virginia and Wyoming .
Seven of them, including Paxton, joined Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody last year calling on Mayorkas to resign. Texas congressmen have called for him to be impeached, arguing that he willfully fails to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and violated his oath of office.
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Despite Mayorkas’ rejection of their claims and repeated claim that “the border is secure”, under his watch, the largest number of known terrorists have been arrested while illegally entering the US. National security experts have expressed concern about the number of suspected terrorists and criminals who have entered illegally and not been caught.
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.