FederalImmigration & BorderIssuesJudicialFederal Judge in Florida Blocks Biden’s Use of ‘Humanitarian Parole’ Program for Noncitizens

Federal Judge T. Kent Wetherell said the Biden administration has “turned the Southwest Border into a meaningless line in the sand.”
March 8, 2023
A federal judge in Florida issued a decision against the Biden administration’s use of humanitarian parole to release asylum seekers and others into the country on a broad scale.

U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell decided that the policy is a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. He blocked the enforcement of a memorandum published in September 2021 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security outlining more lenient guidelines to allow illegal immigrants and other foreign nationals to stay in the U.S.

“For the most part, the Court finds in favor of Florida because, as detailed below, 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 …” Wetherell wrote.

Wetherell contended the Biden administration has been “releasing more than a million aliens into the country” via parole and prosecutorial discretion “under a wholly inapplicable statute.” He further stated the federal government does so “without even initiating removal proceedings.”

He stayed the decision for one week to give the Biden administration time to appeal.

The Texan Tumbler

Humanitarian parole has been used to release hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals, including Afghans fleeing the Taliban takeover of Kabul and Ukrainians escaping the invasion by Russia.

Gov. Greg Abbott also called the use of humanitarian parole “completely illegal” when he appointed a border security “czar” for the State of Texas. He made the comments after the White House said it would begin admitting 30,000 people per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

The federal government ascribed a drop in enforcement encounters with illegal immigrants in January to the program as well as additional consequences for those who enter unlawfully from those four countries.

A copy of Wetherell’s decision can be found below.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."