“America First Legal salutes Ashley Moody on this significant win. Our organization continues to work with all willing Attorneys General to fight open borders and stop the parole nightmare,” said Stephen Miller, President of America First Legal.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This afternoon, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida issued a decision granting the State of Florida and the American people a major victory for the rule of law, and a major defeat for the Biden Administration’s open borders agenda.
On September 29, 2021, the State of Florida filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration, challenging its unlawful policy of releasing illegal aliens into the United States, even though federal law requires that they be detained while their claims are adjudicated in immigration court. The State of Florida asked the Court to stop the Biden Administration’s policy of failing to detain arriving aliens subject to mandatory detention and instead releasing them into the United States.
In today’s opinion, the Court issued a scathing rebuke of the Biden Administration’s immigration policies, stating that the Biden Administration and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas “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.”
The Court held that U.S. federal law–which plainly reads that aliens who illegally cross the border “shall be detained,” “means what it says,” and imposes “a mandatory requirement” on the federal government to detain all such aliens. Despite this clear statutory requirement, the Biden Administration instead created a “policy” called “Parole + Alternatives to Detention” or Parole+ATD.
Under Parole+ATD, DHS releases into the United States aliens who illegally cross the border and only requires such aliens to periodically check in with DHS, or to wear ankle bracelets. The Court found that Parole+ATD is “less effective in ensuring that aliens will not abscond during their immigration proceedings than detention” and led to “tens of thousands of unaccounted-for aliens in the country.” The Court therefore vacated the Parole+ATD policy because it was “contrary to law” and “arbitrary and capricious.”
While the Court did not award all of the relief that Florida sought, today’s decision represents an important victory not only for those fighting for border security and respect for the rule of law, but also for the American people. Undoubtedly, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice will appeal the decision so that it can continue its open borders policies.
America First Legal thanks Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and the professionals in her office for diligently pursuing this case and fighting against the Biden Administration’s lawlessness.
Statement from Gene Hamilton, AFL Vice-President and General Counsel:
“We congratulate Attorney General Ashley Moody and her entire team on this significant victory for the American people. Time and again, the Biden Administration has relied upon an intentional misinterpretation of a narrow law to advance its policy agenda. But today–at least as applied to the facts of this case involving a flagrant abuse of this narrow authority–their lawless program was vacated by a federal court. While much work remains to be done to stop their relentless abuse of the same authority in other contexts, today’s decision is a significant win for the American people. We will not rest in our efforts to stop this Administration from continuing to eradicate the enforcement of our immigration laws.”
Read the decision here.
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