Saturday, September 30, 2023

The Texas trial is investigating the Biden administration’s immigrant parole program

President Joe Biden’s humanitarian parole program began debating Thursday in a Texas federal court over a lawsuit brought by 21 Republican-leaning states.

The program, which is a core part of Biden’s immigration policy, allows up to 30,000 people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to enter the United States each month on humanitarian grounds.

Texas is leading Republican states’ calls to halt the program, arguing that the Biden administration has exceeded its powers. Other programs the government has introduced to reduce illegal immigration have also faced legal challenges.

But for more than 70 years, immigration law has given presidents the power to grant such parole, an attorney with the UCLA Center for Immigration Law and Policy said during the opening hearing.

The center is one of several immigrant rights groups defending seven people who support immigrants. One of the sponsors was expected to testify at the trial.

The parole program for Venezuelans began in the fall of 2022 and was later expanded in January. Entrants must apply online, arrive at an airport, and have a financial sponsor in the United States. If approved, they can stay for two years and get a work permit.

The program has “had tremendous success in reducing migration to the Southwest border,” attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice representing the federal government in the lawsuit wrote in court documents.

US District Judge Drew Tipton is presiding over the state trial in Victoria, Texas. Tipton, a candidate appointed by Donald Trump, has previously opposed the Biden administration over whom to prioritize deportation.

The trial was streamed live from Victoria to a federal courtroom in Houston and was expected to last two days. Also, Tipton will issue a decision at a later date.

In court documents, Texas and other states have called the Biden administration’s program an “extreme example” of its failure to enforce immigration laws that require it “to grant probation only on an individual basis where there is significant public benefit or humanitarian reasons exist urgently.”

While Republicans have contested the use of humanitarian probation for immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela in their lawsuit, no concerns have been raised about using this option to allow tens of thousands of Ukrainians to invade Russia.

Texas has also argued that the parole program causes financial damage because it must provide services such as detention programs, education, social services, and probationary driver’s licenses to immigrants.

Immigrant rights groups have defended the program as a safe route into the United States for desperate immigrants who would otherwise pay people smugglers and get stuck with border guards.

The program is also helping to alleviate the humanitarian crisis along the US-Mexico border, the groups said.

By the end of July, more than 72,000 Haitians, 63,000 Venezuelans, 41,000 Cubans, and 34,000 Nicaraguans had been screened and cleared for entry into the United States under the parole program.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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