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Federal judge makes clear who is to blame for border crisis, halts Biden's migrant 'parole' program
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Federal judge makes clear who is to blame for border crisis, halts Biden's migrant 'parole' program

A federal judge late Thursday temporarily halted the Biden administration's plan to parole migrants who illegally cross the southern border.

For two years, the Biden administration has released some migrants without giving them a court date. Through the Alternatives to Detention program, migrants without a court date are tracked and required to "check in" using a phone application. The program was designed to prevent migrants from disappearing into the shadows while they await their court dates.

But the administration prepared a new "parole" program this week to release migrants from custody without a court date or any way to track them, NBC News reported.

What was the ruling?

Late Thursday evening, just hours before Title 42 ended, U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell ordered the Biden administration to stand down, issuing a two-week restraining order against the policy. His ruling came after Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration filed a lawsuit asking for a temporary restraining order.

In his ruling, Wetherell explained there is no "material difference" between the new parole program and the "catch and release" program that he struck down as unconstitutional two months ago.

Wetherell also admonished the Biden administration for claiming that halting the parole program would "cause chaos." Any chaos, the judge said, is Biden's own doing. He wrote:

Putting aside the fact that even President Biden recently acknowledged that the border has been in chaos for “a number of years,” Defendants’ doomsday rhetoric rings hollow because, as explained in detail in Florida, this problem is largely one of Defendants’ own making through the adoption an implementation of policies that have encouraged the so-called “irregular migration” that has become fairly regular over the past 2 years.

How did government respond?

Customs and Border Protection blasted the order as "harmful," but said immigration authorities will comply with it.

"This is a harmful ruling that will result in unsafe overcrowding at CBP facilities and undercut our ability to efficiently process and remove migrants, and risks creating dangerous conditions for Border Patrol agents and migrants," a CBP statement said. "The fact remains that when overcrowding has occurred in Border Patrol facilities, Republican and Democratic Administrations alike have used this parole authority to protect the safety and security of migrants and the workforce."

That harm, the Biden administration argues, is overcrowding in migrant facilities, which are expected to be overrun with tens of thousands of migrants as more continually cross the border.

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