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20 GOP states are suing Biden administration over new border parole programs

Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2023 - 6:43pm
Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2023 - 7:44am

A coalition of 20 GOP-led states have signed onto a lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s new parole programs allowing a set amount of people from Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti and Venezuela to enter the U.S. on humanitarian grounds. 

The new initiatives allow up to 30,000 people from each of those four countries to enter the U.S. under a long-existing program called humanitarian parole. Among other qualifiers, they need a sponsor in the U.S, the money to fly here and must apply away from the border. 

Humanitarian parole allows noncitizens to enter the U.S. on a temporary, emergency basis. It was the most-common immigration status given to Afghan evacuees in 2021. And has also been used along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But in their suit filed this week in a federal court in Texas, the GOP states argue that the Biden administration acted illegally in creating the new pathways this month, because the programs were enacted without certain procedures, like a public comment period.

This is the latest in a long legal battle over border enforcement efforts and approaches from the Biden administration. In the same press conference announcing the parole programs this month, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also said Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Cubans and Haitians who were apprehended the border would be ineligible for the parole programs and would be sent back to Mexico under the pandemic-era protocol, Title 42. 

FronterasImmigration Southwest Border