Florida heads back to court in fight with Biden admin over migrant parole releases

The state of Florida is heading back to court on Friday for oral arguments in another case with potential implications for the handling of the ongoing crisis at the southern border — after a ruling earlier this year blocked the Biden administration from using parole to release immigrants into the interior in some situations. The Biden administration and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office will be before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday for oral arguments in a case that stretches back years. Moody initially filed the case in March 2021 over the release of migrants into the interior, via humanitarian parole into Alternatives to Detention — known as “Parole + ATD” —arguing it was unlawful and that parole is to be used on a “case by case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit” by statute. FEDERAL JUDGE RULES BIDEN’S BORDER POLICIES UNLAWFUL, JUST A ‘SPEEDBUMP’ FOR ILLEGAL MIGRANTS Florida contended that the government was violating statutory mandates that migrants be detained. The administration had argued that there is no “non-detention policy” and that it is using its prosecutorial discretion to release migrants into alternatives to detention when necessary. It has also said it cannot detain all illegal immigrants due to capacity issues and the immigration court backlog. The case resulted in the revelation of multiple pockets of information, including testimony from then Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz and the release of plans for the end of the Title 42 public health order. The battle culminated in a federal judge in March 2023 issuing a ban on the administration’s use of Parole + ATD. In a scathing opinion Judge T. Kent Wetherell stated the Biden administration had “effectively turned the Southwest Border into a meaningless line in the sand and little more than a speedbump for aliens flooding into the country.” That ruling would have additional consequences in May when the same judge would slap an injunction on the use by the administration of a “parole with conditions” program, finding it to be materially identical to the parole + ATD program that he had blocked. He said it was “functionally identical” to the other policy. The White House slammed that ruling as “sabotage, pure and simple” and hard argued that the releases were needed to reduce overcrowding.  SENATE BORDER BILL TO ALLOW 5,000 MIGRANTS A DAY BEFORE TITLE 42-TYPE LIMIT STARTS; SPARKING CONSERVATIVE FURY  The administration has consistently argued that it is following the laws passed by Congress, but needs more funding and comprehensive immigration reform from Congress in order to deal with what it says is a hemisphere-wide crisis.  It has more recently pointed to an increase in returns since the end of Title 42 in May, saying it has returned more migrants since May than in the entirety of FY 2019. It has also pointed to a record number of fentanyl seizures as a sign its increased technology is working.  Republicans at both state and federal level have accused the administration of fueling the crisis with liberal immigration policies and the release of migrants into the interior. There were a record 302,000 migrant encounters in December after a record 2.4 million in FY 23. Separately the administration is battling with states over immigration policy. Amid the ongoing fight with Florida, the administration also has multiple legal battles with Texas. This week the Supreme Court overturned a ban on federal officials from cutting razor wire set up by Texas. It also has lawsuits challenging its recent anti-illegal immigration law and the establishment of buoys in the Rio Grande. “Biden is ignoring the law and the opinion we obtained in federal court regarding his open border policies,” Moody said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “He is wasting time and resources fighting Florida and Texas instead of doing his job and ending the border crisis. As a result, more than 8 million unvetted immigrants and hundreds of millions of deadly doses of fentanyl have flooded into our country with no signs of stopping as long as Biden is president.” CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP Meanwhile, Congress is trying to find a deal on a border supplemental deal. The White House had requested $14 billion for aid to communities, expedited removal and more staffing. But Republicans want that tied to tightened asylum rules and more restrictions on the use of parole — the subject of the battle between Florida and the administration.
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