GOP Lawsuit Puts Biden’s Immigration Policy at Risk, Affecting Thousands Who Relied on It to Enter the US

by Madison Thomas
fokus keyword: lawsuit

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Valerie Laveus, a native of Haiti, vividly recalls learning about a U.S. immigration program that would permit individuals from Haiti and three other countries to come to America. As a teacher in Florida, she discovered through a WhatsApp message and subsequent lawyer consultation that her brother and nephew might benefit from the program.

After a prolonged struggle to acquire a green card, her family members finally arrived in early August, ready to embrace a fresh start. They are among approximately 181,000 individuals who have utilized President Joe Biden’s humanitarian parole program.

However, the future of this program is uncertain as 21 states leaning towards the Republican Party have initiated a lawsuit challenging its legality. The case will be presented in a Texas court on Thursday, with a ruling to follow.

A loss for the Biden administration could undermine broader immigration policies, aimed at promoting legal pathways into the country. These efforts were necessary due to the absence of congressional action on immigration reform, but the strategy now stands on shaky ground.

The legal battle in Texas will center on Republican claims that the Biden administration is overstepping congressional authority by admitting up to 360,000 people annually from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela under this program. The Republicans contend that the initiative goes beyond the intended case-by-case use of parole power for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.

The government defends its authority to run the program and credits it with significantly reducing illegal entries from the four designated countries. To qualify, applicants must pass background checks and have a U.S. financial sponsor.

Legal representation for immigrant rights groups, including Laveus and six others involved in sponsoring migrants, will also participate in the case. Their goal is to depict the real people affected if the program were to end.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has expressed concern over the trial and plans to appeal if the administration loses. The hearing is set before Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee who has previously ruled against the Biden administration.

Interestingly, the U.S.’s use of humanitarian parole to admit Ukrainians during the Russian invasion is not challenged by the Republican lawsuit.

The sponsorships are open to almost anyone willing to complete the necessary paperwork. Many sponsors are relatives, but faith communities and individuals, like Eric Sype, have also stepped forward to assist strangers.

Sype is sponsoring a Nicaraguan friend, who will work in the U.S. for two years and then return to his family. Sype sees the program as an undeniable benefit, reconnecting people and supporting those in need.

Though one of the largest single applications of humanitarian parole, the Biden administration is not alone in employing it. Past instances include aid to Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Iraqi Kurds, and Cubans.

The program, which started in October 2022 for Venezuelans and was later expanded to include Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans, also has critics. Some supporters express concern over the requirement for financial sponsorship, which may favor wealthier migrants, and the potential for exploitation.

Muriel Sáenz, an advocate for Nicaraguan immigrants, illustrates the challenge in finding sponsors for those without U.S. family connections. The legal responsibility of two-year sponsorship may be overwhelming.

“It is too much responsibility,” Sáenz explained. “Legally you are adopting people for two years.”

The report was provided by Salomon, from Miami.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: lawsuit

What is the humanitarian parole program under the Biden administration?

The humanitarian parole program is an initiative launched by President Joe Biden to allow people to come to the U.S. from four specific countries: Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Applicants must pass background checks and have a financial sponsor in the U.S.

Who is challenging the legality of the humanitarian parole program?

21 Republican-leaning states have initiated a lawsuit to determine the legality of this program. They argue that it’s an overreach of a parole power meant to be used on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons.

How many people have entered the U.S. under this program?

Approximately 181,000 people have entered the U.S. under the humanitarian parole program since its inception.

What happens if the Biden administration loses the lawsuit?

If the Biden administration loses the lawsuit, it could undermine broader policies encouraging legal pathways into the country. It would also jeopardize the existing strategy and potentially lead to the collapse of the humanitarian parole program.

Who can be a sponsor for someone under this program?

Almost anyone can be a sponsor for someone under the humanitarian parole program, provided they complete the necessary paperwork. Sponsors include relatives, members of religious communities, and individuals with connections to applicants.

What are the concerns related to this program?

Some critics and supporters of the program express concern over the requirement for financial sponsorship, which may favor wealthier migrants, and the potential for exploitation. The need for legal responsibility for a two-year sponsorship is also seen as a challenge.

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James R. August 21, 2023 - 1:23 pm

Can’t believe what’s happening with immigration these days. it’s like no one can make up their mind about what’s right or wrong! I hope the lawsuit settles things, one way or another.

Karen S. August 21, 2023 - 4:14 pm

Honestly I think this is just politics at play. everything’s a battle now, no matter who it affects. Sad, really.

Tom Jefferson August 21, 2023 - 6:41 pm

I didn’t even know about this program until now. 181,000 ppl, that’s a lot. The requirements seem fair though. why are they fighting it?

Maria Gonzalez August 22, 2023 - 7:30 am

This program seems like a lifeline for so many people, it’s important, yet they want to take it away. i don’t understand why everything has to be so complicated.

Henry T. August 22, 2023 - 8:10 am

So we’re just supposed to let anyone in? What about the rules. They were there for a reason. I don’t blame the states for suing, its about maintaining order.


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