tags: Press Releases

GOP Sues to Stop Programs that are Alleviating Border Pressures and Reunifying Families

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Washington, DC – This week in Texas federal district court, 21 Republican states are seeking to eliminate the successful humanitarian parole programs announced by the Biden administration earlier this year. These are pathways for legal admission for select individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela that help alleviate border pressures; offer alternatives to a dangerous trek to the southern border; and ultimately help reunify families. Yet it’s telling that most Republicans, a party that used to embrace the distinction between so-called “legal” and “illegal” immigration, have lined up so strongly against a legal immigration program that is working.

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Immigration pathways where people ask for admission before they come here and their requests are evaluated based on criteria and then permission is given, is in fact legal immigration. But to opponents of immigration, even people who get prior permission from our government are labeled “illegal.”

The fact is that the parole authority in the law that President Biden is using is part of a successful strategy to alleviate border pressures and reunify families. Using parole authority in this manner gives the U.S. greater control over the immigration process, while being highly targeted at countries in our hemisphere facing unique challenges. The strategy President Biden is executing is not just humane, it is a series of common sense steps to fix our broken immigration system and advance both order and justice in the absence of any congressional action. 

The GOP lawsuit against this strategy – and any strategy to reduce chaos and promote legality – is a tell. The modern anti-immigrant movement is opposed to immigration in every form, opposed to legal status for immigrants, and opposed to measures that promote orderliness, safety and security. The opponents of immigration prefer to perpetuate and politicize chaos.”

Read more in Roll Call: Biden administration to defend migration parole program at trial”:

“The parole program is part of the Biden administration’s carrot-and-stick approach to migration policies, which aims to disincentive migrants from crossing the border without authorization and instead encourage them to take advantage of this newly opened lawful migration pathway.

Texas and 20 other Republican-led states have challenged the “carrot” half of that approach in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, arguing that the administration has exceeded its parole authorities.

If the program is struck down in court, the administration could be forced to manage the border without half of its strategy. And migrants from those four countries, including those with U.S.-based relatives ready to support them, would be left with limited options to migrate legally to the country, advocates said.

…The states argued in court filings that this program did not admit migrants on a “case-by-case” basis as required under parole authorities. Instead, it “amounts to the creation of a new visa program that allows hundreds of thousands of aliens to enter the United States who otherwise have no basis for doing so,” the lawsuit states.

…The Biden administration has contended that the parole programs have reduced the number of migrants caught crossing in between ports of entry. The government also argues that the court should defer to the Department of Homeland Security’s discretion in how best to manage what it described as foreign affairs and national security matters, and that the states do not have the legal right to challenge the program.”