On Wednesday, a federal court decided in favor of Florida and invalidated the Biden administration’s use of parole to release large numbers of illegal immigrants who are apprehended trying to cross the border.
The Biden administration was prohibited by Judge T. Kent Wetherell II of the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida from releasing migrants in large numbers through the use of humanitarian parole and other alternatives to detention, a practice known as “catch and release” by opponents.
Wetherell, a Trump appointment, attacked the Biden administration in his blistering judgment in support of Republican Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s challenge to the practice, contending that the southern border has reduced to nothing more than a speedbump for illegal border-crossers.
“The evidence establishes that Defendants have effectively turned the Southwest Border into a meaningless line in the sand and little more than a speedbump for aliens flooding into the country by prioritizing ‘alternatives to detention’ over actual detention and by releasing more than a million aliens into the country — on ‘parole’ or pursuant to the exercise of ‘prosecutorial discretion’ under a wholly inapplicable statute — without even initiating removal proceedings. There is nothing inherently inhumane or cruel about detaining aliens pending completion of their immigration proceedings.”
Since 2021, the Biden administration has ostensibly used the “Parole + ATD” approach to reduce detention center congestion.
The Department of Homeland Security has employed parole + ATD as an alternative to holding immigrants in detention and releasing them with Notices to Appear that establish a court date, a procedure that keeps immigrants in prison for a lot longer.
Under Parole + ATD, immigrants are instructed to check in with immigration officials when they arrive in the US and are given ankle bands or are subject to phone monitoring.