The Biden administration’s recently expanded humanitarian parole program is facing a legal challenge from 20 states and a top conservative legal group. The lawsuit, filed by Texas and America First Legal in the Southern District of Texas, is joined by 19 additional states who are seeking to block the program, which allows up to 30,000 migrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela into the U.S. each month.
The program, which was announced in October, allows a limited number of migrants from Venezuela to fly directly into the U.S., as long as they have not entered illegally, have a sponsor in the U.S. already, and pass certain checks.
Earlier this month, President Biden announced that the program would be expanding to include Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Cubans and that it would allow up to 30,000 a month into the U.S. It allows for migrants to receive work permits and a two-year authorization to live in the U.S.
The plaintiffs argue that the program is illegal given the “exceptionally limited” parole power available to the federal government. They note that up to 360,000 migrants could be allowed into the U.S. a year.
The lawsuit focuses on the limits placed on parole by Congress that says the authority is to be used on a “case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit” — a standard that the lawsuit says the program fails to meet.
The lawsuit also argues that the program is unlawful as it did not engage in the notice-and-comment rulemaking required by the Administrative Procedure Act. It also argues that the program is a violation of the Constitution’s Take Care Clause, which requires the President to take care that the laws are faithfully executed.
The Biden administration has said the program is one of a number of ways it is expanding lawful migration pathways as a way to combat the ongoing migrant surge at the border that has seen historic numbers hit the border each month. But conservative critics have said the latest program is illegal and facilitates rather than stops the migrant surge.
The lawsuit is a clear indication that conservative states and legal groups are not going to sit back and let the Biden administration implement its open-border policies.
They are taking action to protect the integrity of our nation’s immigration laws and to defend the rights of American citizens. The Biden administration should take note and start working with these states to address the crisis at the border, rather than trying to circumvent the law.