Texas court analyzes immigration policy of the Biden government

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A key part of President Joe Biden's immigration policy that allows a limited number of people from Central America and the Caribbean to enter the United States on humanitarian grounds was being discussed Thursday in a Texas federal court.

Under the parole program, up to 30,000 people can enter the United States each month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Texas is leading a lawsuit brought by 21 Republican-leaning states to stop the program, arguing that the Biden administration has exceeded its authority. Other programs that the federal government has implemented to reduce illegal immigration have also faced legal challenges.

But for more than 70 years immigration law has given presidents the authority to grant such parole, an attorney with the UCLA Center for Immigration Law and Policy said during opening trial depositions. The center is one of several immigrant rights groups defending seven people who sponsor immigrants.

The parole program began for Venezuelans in the fall of 2022 and was later expanded in January. Participants must apply online, arrive at an airport, and have a financial sponsor in the United States. If approved, they can stay for two years and obtain a work permit.

The program has "had tremendous success in reducing migration to the Southwest border," argued lawyers for the Justice Department, which is representing the federal government in the lawsuit.

Federal Judge Drew Tipton is presiding over a trial on the states' lawsuit in Victoria, Texas. Tipton, a Donald Trump appointee, has previously spoken out against the Biden administration over whom to prioritize for deportation.

The trial would be broadcast live from Victoria to a federal courtroom in Houston and was expected to last two days. Tipton will issue a ruling at a later date.

In court documents, Texas and other states have called the Biden administration's program an "extreme example" of failing to enforce immigration laws that require it to "grant parole only on a case-by-case basis for significant public benefit or urgent humanitarian reasons." ”.

While the GOP states' lawsuit challenges the use of humanitarian parole for immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, it has not raised any concerns about its use to grant entry to tens of thousands of Ukrainians due to the war in Russia. .

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