Washington, DC – A lawsuit filed yesterday by Texas and 19 other Republican-led states challenges the Biden Administration’s new parole program, which provides some Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan asylum seekers a legal process to safely enter the United States, if they are pre-approved by the U.S. government. Stephen Miller’s organization, America First Legal, also helped file the new GOP lawsuit. Below are three of the key points about the newest Republican anti-immigrant lawsuit and its implication:
- The GOP’s Anti-Immigrant Judicial Pipeline Again Rears Its Ugly Head: As America’s Voice legal advisor David Leopold has described in detail, the Republican anti-immigrant judicial pipeline allows a small number of Republican-run states – most notably Texas under Attorney General Ken Paxton – to attempt to dictate and drive national immigration policy from GOP states they control. In concert with Republican-appointed judges in district courts, such as Texas Judges Andrew Hanen and Drew Tipton, and the Republican-appointed justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, it creates a judiciary that is political, extreme and unaccountable – even to well-established immigration law.
- The Racial Animus Behind the Lawsuit is Laid Bare – and Not Just Because Stephen Miller’s Group is Involved: A tweet from Texas AG Ken Paxton announcing the new lawsuit asserted that the parole program was a Biden plot to “destroy our nation” because it offered Haitians an opportunity to claim asylum. As the Justice Action Center pointed out, “Though this lawsuit mentions the parole program for Ukraine as a model for the one of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuelans, the red states did not challenge that program or attack parole authority when used for Ukrainians.” It’s not a surprise that Stephen Miller, AG Paxton and others directly involved with the lawsuit have helped mainstream deadly white nationalist conspiracies around “invasion” and “replacement.”
- New Lawsuit Demonstrates that 2023 Republicans Oppose Even Legal Immigration Pathways – Even for People Fleeing Socialist/Communist Countries that Republicans Claim to Care For: Republican rhetoric used to claim that their opposition to immigration reform was based around the notion of illegality – they didn’t oppose legal immigration, so went the claim, just policies that rewarded those who illegally migrated. This lawsuit reveals a very different Republican Party, one opposed even to legal pathways for asylum seekers attempting to follow the law and seek pre-approval from the U.S. government.
Moreover, many in the Republican Party – and especially GOP officials in states such as Florida – still wax eloquently about their commitment to individuals fleeing supposedly repressive socialist and communist regimes in countries such as Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Yet the parole program that would specifically expand asylum and legal channels for individuals fleeing these nations is now being targeted by Republicans, including by the State of Florida, which signed onto the new lawsuit.
According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“This latest Republican lawsuit further confirms that MAGA extremists have taken over the GOP. To put it simply, the GOP opposes even legal immigration, embraces ugly racial animus, and relies on the anti-immigrant pipeline and a partisan judiciary to do its dirty work. Once again, rather than work with the Biden Administration and Congress to achieve real solutions, they are seeking to constrain its ability to propose and implement policy change at the federal level. Clearly, politicizing immigration issues and using obstruction, division and fear are the main objectives of today’s GOP, rather than seeking solutions.”