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Texas federal judge allows thousands of migrants to ‘legally’ enter into the U.S. each month, Biden admin wins case

In a recent post on X, the social media network formerly known as Twitter, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott marked the third anniversary of Operation Lone Star, a state initiative aimed at strengthening the border security with Mexico. Abbott highlighted that since its inception, Texas has detained over 503,000 individuals for illegal entry and arrested more than 40,400 people on criminal charges. This initiative reflects Texas’ response to the surging number of immigrants, culminating in a record high last December.

Controversial measures

Operation Lone Star has introduced a range of strategies, some of which have sparked significant debate. Among these actions, Texas has been transporting migrants to various sanctuary cities across the country, primarily governed by Democrats, to mitigate the economic strain on towns near the southern border. To date, over 104,000 migrants have been moved to these cities, and Governor Abbott has stated that Texas will persist with this policy until the federal government enacts effective border security measures.

Legal issues with the federal government

Texas has faced multiple legal challenges from the federal government regarding its measures to block migrants from entering the U.S. Although the Biden administration prevailed in a lawsuit allowing it to remove razor wire placed along the border by Texas, it has yet to act on this court decision. However, the Biden administration recently achieved another legal victory against Texas, implying that the state must accommodate thousands of migrants at its border each month.

The humanitarian parole program

Last Friday, a federal judge in Texas decided to keep a part of President Joe Biden’s policy about immigration. This rule lets a limited group of people from four countries come to the U.S. on humanitarian grounds. These countries are Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. The judge didn’t agree with some states led by Republicans that challenged this policy. A total of 21 states filed the challenge saying that taking care of migrants is expensive citing healthcare, education and public safety.

This initiative opens doors for up to 30,000 seeking refuge, from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, to enter the U.S. every month

Read also: After Texas, California now experiences a real migrant crisis as the situation becomes “unsustainable”

30,000 individuals can enter the U.S. each month

Judge Drew B. Tipton, serving in a U.S. District Court, has given his backing to a humanitarian parole program. This initiative opens doors for up to 30,000 individuals seeking refuge, hailing from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, to enter the U.S. every month. Doing away with this valuable program would pose a significant threat to a broader strategy.

21 Republican-led states challenged the program

Texas and 20 other states that sued argued the program is forcing them to spend millions on health care, education and public safety for the migrants. An attorney working with the Texas attorney general’s office in the legal challenge said that the program “created a shadow immigration system.” Advocates for the federal government countered that migrants admitted through the policy helped with a U.S. farm labor shortage.

This initiative opens doors for up to 30,000 seeking refuge, from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, to enter the U.S. every month

Policy advocates support the decision

Texas and 20 other states challenged the rule in court. They said it costs them a lot of money to take care of these people. One lawyer from Texas said this rule is like making a new set of rules for coming to the U.S. without saying it out loud. He called this policy “a shadow immigration system.” But the Biden admin and other supporters of this policy have claimed that this policy indeed helps the country as migrants contribute in solving the U.S. farm labor shortage.

Esther Sung, an attorney for Justice Action Center, which represented seven people who were sponsoring migrants as part of the program, said she was looking forward to calling her clients to let them know of the court’s decision.

“It’s a popular program. People want to welcome other people to this country,” she said.

Read also: California to use taxpayers’ money to defend convicted migrants in court for free under new controversial bill

The judge in the case is Trump appointee

In a trial that took place in Victoria, Texas in August, Judge Tipton, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, decided not to temporarily stop the parole program. Previously, in 2022, Tipton had made a decision that went against what the Biden administration wanted regarding who should be a priority for deportation. In the case, the judge raised questions about Texas’s claim of losing money because of the parole program when evidence suggested that the program was actually decreasing the number of migrants entering the U.S. from these countries.

Different policies for different countries

Federal government attorneys and immigrant rights groups said that in many cases, Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans are also fleeing oppressive regimes, escalating violence and worsening political conditions that have endangered their lives. The lawsuit did not challenge the use of humanitarian parole for tens of thousands of Ukrainians who came after Russia’s invasion.

This initiative opens doors for up to 30,000 seeking refuge, from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, to enter the U.S. every month

Read also: Millions of migrants who cross the border in Texas and California are also bringing contagious diseases

Lawyers from the federal government and groups defending immigrant rights explained that in many situations, people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela are trying to escape from oppressive regimes, increasing violence, and worsening political conditions, which put their lives in danger. The lawsuit didn’t oppose giving humanitarian parole to a large number of Ukrainians who arrived after the invasion by Russia.

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