Red states are taking President Biden’s administration to court over an immigration policy that lets up to 30,000 migrants into the U.S. every month from South America and the Caribbean.
Texas, along with 21 other GOP-led states, will begin court proceedings in federal court near Houston on Thursday. The states are challenging Biden’s humanitarian parole program, which allows residents of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to apply for a two-year work stay in the U.S.
Texas argues the program is an overreach by the Biden administration and an unlawful strain on their resources. They also say the federal government is overusing its statutory parole authority, which is supposed to be used “only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”
U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, will preside over Thursday’s trial.
The Biden administration first introduced the program in late 2022, and it initially applied only to Venezuelans. The administration soon expanded it to the current roster of countries.
Since the program’s inception, it has granted access to the U.S. for 72,000 Haitians, 63,000 Venezuelans, 41,000 Cubans and 34,000 Nicaraguans.
Justice Department attorneys representing the federal government in the case argue that the program has been “tremendously successful at reducing migration to the southwest border.”
Under the program, applicants must undergo a vetting process and verify that they have a financial sponsor in the U.S. If approved, they can remain in the U.S. for up to two years and obtain a work permit.
Republicans on both the federal and state levels have hammered the administration for its handling of the border crisis, blaming its rollback of Trump-era border security measures for the ongoing surge of migrants seeking entry to the U.S.
Republican 2024 candidates have rallied around a number of stricter policies, including resuming wall construction, restoring the Migrant Protection Protocols and additional efforts to crack down on human smuggling. Recently, some Republicans have called for a freeze in DHS funding until efforts are made to secure the border.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and the Associated Press contributed to this report.