What do you need to know about Florida’s immigration parole policy?
A federal judge on Thursday night temporarily blocked one of the Biden administration’s key tools for trying to manage the number of immigrants in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) custody.
The ruling comes before Title 42 expires, and administration officials say it will make their job more difficult amid an expected influx of migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border. Appeal pending.
Here are the key things to know:
Policy for Release of Migrants: The plan, unveiled Wednesday, allowed immigrants to be released from CBP custody without court dates or, in some cases, with conditions. As the number of immigrants at the border increases, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said its plan will help relieve the immense pressure on already overcrowded border facilities. As of Wednesday, the Border Patrol had more than 28,000 immigrants in custody, stretching capacity.
Previously, the administration released immigrants without court dates after officials vetted them in the face of a wave of immigration. The program would allow DHS to release immigrants on a “parole” basis on a case-by-case basis, requiring them to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Florida Case: Florida sued to halt the policy, and U.S. District Judge D. Kent Wetherell agreed to put the project on hold for two weeks. Wetherell, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, said he had not seen the administration’s explanation for why the policy was released Wednesday, when the Title 42 decision had been expected for months. He added that the Biden administration simply wasn’t ready.
How did the administration react? Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorgas, speaking on “CNN This Morning,” said the ruling was “very damaging” and that the administration was considering its options.
Assistant Secretary for Border Policy and Immigration Blas Nuñez-Neto said the ruling would cause unsafe overcrowding at CBP facilities and undermine our ability to effectively process and remove immigrants, creating dangerous conditions for Border Patrol agents and non-citizens. In our custody.”
What’s next? Wetherell’s ruling would block the policy for two weeks. A preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for May 19.