Mayorkas wins court case on parole program

On the same day that a federal judge ruled in favor of Texas in their border wall lawsuit, he also ruled against 20 Republican-led states in a lawsuit they had filed regarding a parole program established by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

In a ruling on Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Drew Tipton, presiding over the Southern District of Texas Victoria Division, stated that the states did not have the legal standing to bring the case.

The parole program that the states sued over is one of the 12 parole programs that House Republicans identified as illegal. They used this evidence to support their charge to impeach Mayorkas.

Twenty states, with Texas leading the way, have filed a lawsuit against Mayorkas for creating an “illegal visa program” that permits the entry of up to 30,000 individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela into the United States each month, even if they do not meet the current legal requirements. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that Mayorkas’ proposal forces Mexico to detain approximately 30,000 individuals per month, with the cost being borne by American taxpayers. In total, the coalition argues that Mayorkas’ plan allows for the unauthorized release of 360,000 individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela into the United States.

The coalition claims that Mayorkas’ policy is illegal because it goes against the specific standards set by Congress for parole of foreign aliens. They argue that the program allows participants to apply for lawful status from their home country, which is not in line with existing laws. This pathway allows them to enter and stay in the U.S. for an extended period of up to two years or even longer.

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According to critics, the use or proposed use of the parole system should be limited to individual cases that involve urgent humanitarian reasons or provide significant public benefit. They argue against the mass application of the parole system.

In January of last year, Mayorkas reiterated his assertion that “the border was closed” and announced the expansion of the parole program. He stated that the purpose of this expansion was to provide humanitarian relief in line with our values, dismantle smuggling organizations, and uphold our laws.

Six months later, he further extended it to encompass four additional countries: Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. His stated objective for this program was to facilitate the reunification of families from these nations. However, he decided to suspend DNA testing as a means of verifying the biological relationship between those who claimed to be family members.

Since implementing these policies, the U.S. has reported a staggering number of over 10 million illegal border crossers, including gotaways. This number surpasses the population of 41 individual states. In fiscal 2023 alone, nearly 4 million illegal border crossers were reported, which is more than the population of 22 states. Even in the first quarter of fiscal 2024, the highest numbers were recorded at both the northern and southwest borders. These numbers represent the largest influx of illegal border crossers for these months in U.S. history, as reported exclusively by The Center Square.

In his 31-page ruling, Tipton stated that the court is not addressing the legality of the program at this time. The court can only consider that question once a plaintiff has established their standing.

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The judge argued that Texas failed to demonstrate any injury or increased spending due to the program. He also referred to a previous ruling by the Fifth Circuit, which mandated the reinstatement of the Migrant Parole Protocols (MPP), also known as the Remain in Mexico policy. According to the Fifth Circuit, the termination of the MPP resulted in a rise in unlawful immigration into Texas. Tipton noted that the increased number of paroles in Texas directly caused harm, as stated in the ruling.

According to Tipton, the Fifth Circuit did not compare the increase in immigration levels before and after the termination of MPP to zero immigration. Instead, they used this comparison to reach their conclusion.

In addition, he cited previous rulings from the Fifth Circuit to support his argument that Texas had failed to demonstrate the necessary injury under Article III of the U.S. Constitution in order to establish standing.

“The Court has ruled that the Plaintiffs have failed to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Texas has suffered any injury. Therefore, they do not have the standing to continue with this case, and it is dismissed without prejudice. The Court denies all requested relief and will issue a final judgment through a separate order.”

Paxton has not yet made a statement regarding the ruling. However, Mayorkas expressed his approval of the ruling and also highlighted the parole program he established as an integral part of their efforts to address the significant migration challenges in the hemisphere.

Republican U.S. Representatives Chip Roy of Texas and Dan Bishop of North Carolina recently introduced a bill aimed at tackling rulings like this one and others. The bill seeks to grant state attorneys general more power and legal standing, enabling them to take legal action against the federal government in instances where it fails to enforce federal immigration laws established by Congress.

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After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last July that Texas and Louisiana lacked standing to challenge another policy by Mayorkas, which essentially halted most deportations of illegal foreign nationals, they took this action.

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