Mass Border ‘Parole’ Program to Get a Court Test; Will it Matter?
Facing a post-Title-42 onslaught of its own making, the Biden administration is waving a white flag and flashing a green light at the southern border.
But hold on. A federal judge stepped in late Thursday to temporarily halt a wholesale parole program designed to expedite the transit of illegal aliens into the U.S.
Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz on Wednesday authorized the mass releases of migrants, saying the border surge is so high his agency cannot be expected to process everyone correctly. Illegal aliens would be granted entry without immigration court dates if the Border Patrol averages more than 7,000 encounters a day; his agency is already well above that level, reporting 10,000 apprehensions on Tuesday.
The administration has liberally expanded the parole program to go far beyond its legal meaning or congressional intent. Designed to admit aliens for “urgent humanitarian reasons” or “significant public benefit,” parole is now open to virtually all comers.
Ortiz’s order effectively doubles down on President Joe Biden’s catch-and-release regime, flouting a March ruling by U.S. District Judge T.K. Wetherell, who had blasted the administration for “turning the Southwest border into a meaningless line in the sand and little more than a speed bump for aliens flooding into the country.”
On Thursday, Wetherell took exception to the Border Patrol’s expansive parole policy and imposed a two-week restraining order. The judge, sitting in Tallahassee, Fla., scheduled a May 19 hearing on the matter.
“This problem is largely one of [the administration’s] own making through the adoption and implementation of policies that have encouraged so-called ‘irregular migration’ that has become fairly regular over the past two years,” Wetherell wrote in his March decision.
The reckless disregard for national security and the rule of law by Biden & Co. hasn’t gone unnoticed by cartel coyotes and others who profit from mass migration flows. With the cancellation of Title 42 health protocols at the border, traffic is swelling as migrants gain confidence that their chances for entering this country are better than ever.
Instead of holding the line, the White House has crassly authorized Border Patrol sectors to begin street releases of illegal aliens if non-governmental organizations can’t hold them. With growing numbers of centers already over capacity, migrants are now dumped off at bus stations, gas stations and grocery stores in border towns and beyond.
Amid the chaos, Homeland Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas bizarrely asserted: “The border is not open, it has not been open, and it will not be open subsequent to May 11.”
Will Judge Wetherell’s intervention help to make that claim a reality?
Immigration law experts aren’t counting on it. Though Wetherell’s ruling may be legally sound, its effect might be limited. Confronted with an injunction, the Biden administration could just stop “paroling” migrants, hand them a Notice to Appear with a 2028 court date and release them, never to be seen again.
“Joe Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas have repeatedly demonstrated a tendency to depart from the rule of law when the statutorily dictated outcome isn’t what their progressive, anti-borders ideology demands,” said Matt O’Brien, a former immigration judge and current director of investigations at the Immigration Reform Law Institute. “It remains to be seen whether they’ll make any meaningful effort to comply with this injunction.”