Attorney General Raul Labrador joined 19 other states on Wednesday to file a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s plan to expand the parole process for noncitizen Venezuelans to include Nicaraguans, Haitians and Cubans.
Parole refers to the power of the Department of Homeland Security to grant permission to certain noncitizens that allow them to enter or temporarily remain in the United States for specific reasons such as an urgent humanitarian need or another public benefit. Paroles must be granted on a case-by-case basis.
President Biden’s new policy would allow up to 30,000 individuals per month from these four countries (360,000 annually) to enter the United States for a period of two years to receive work authorization provided they have an eligible sponsor and pass vetting and background checks.
Idaho’s Attorney General said the law doesn’t give the administration the power to expand the law in this way.
“Federal law tells the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to exercise discretionary authority, evaluating individual immigrants on a ‘case-by-case’ basis,” Labrador said in a press release. “The Biden administration is now attempting to create a new federal ‘program’ that goes way beyond case-by-case review and potentially grants status to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants. If this administration wants to amend federal immigration law, they need to ask Congress.”
Several other Republican states including Utah, Texas and Florida signed the lawsuit. The lawsuit said the policy goes outside the boundaries outlined by the current law.
“The parole program established by the Department fails each of the law’s three limiting factors,” the lawsuit said. “It is not case-by-case, is not for urgent humanitarian reasons, and advances no significant public benefit. Instead, it amounts to the creation of a new visa program that allows hundreds of thousands of aliens to enter the United States who otherwise have no basis for doing so. This flouts, rather than follows, the clear limits imposed by Congress”
Multistate lawsuits against the federal government have become more popular in recent years to varying degrees of success. For example, the Biden administration has been the subject of 57 multistate lawsuits. While many cases are dismissed, the lawsuits usually serve their purpose of blocking federal policy or making a statement to prompt national action.
You can learn more about Labrador and the work his office does at the Attorney General’s website.