Florida Federal Judge Blocks DHS Plan to Begin Mass Releases of Illegal Immigrants After Title 42 Expires

A federal court judge in Florida has blocked the Biden administration from directing Border Patrol to release illegal immigrants onto city streets when non-governmental organizations reach full capacity. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had intended to begin en mass parole of aliens on Friday, after the COVID-era Title 42 rules expired.

Judge Thomas Kent Wetherell II of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida issued a Temporary Restraining Order late Thursday night.

“DHS is enjoined from implementing or enforcing the parole policy contained in the May 10, 2023, Memorandum from U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, titled ‘Policy on Parole with Conditions in Limited Circumstances Prior to Issuance of a Charging Document (Parole with Conditions),’” Wetherell ruled. “This TRO will take effect at 11:59 p.m. eastern time to correspond with the expiration of the Title 42 Order and to give Defendants an opportunity to seek an emergency stay from a higher court.”

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sued the Department of Homeland Security, arguing that the new immigration policy violated a court order she obtained earlier this year.

In that earlier ruling, Wetherell held that Biden’s federal immigration policies were illegal and must change.

In his Thursday ruling, Wetherell wrote:

… the Court has no trouble concluding that Florida has a substantial likelihood of success on the merits because the challenged policy appears to be materially indistinguishable from the Parole + ATD policy vacated in Florida—both in its purpose (reducing overcrowding at border patrol facilities) and manner of operation (releasing aliens into the country without first issuing a charging document placing them in immigration proceedings and simply directing the aliens to report to ICE within a specified period for further processing).

According to Los Angeles Times immigration reporter Hamed Aleaziz, the administration argued in court today that without the mass releases, there could be 45,000 illegal aliens in custody by the end of the month. As of Wednesday, there were more than 28,000 in custody, already way over the limit, Aleaziz noted on Twitter.

The judge stated in his ruling: “Putting aside the fact that even President Biden recently acknowledged that the border has been in chaos for ‘a number of years,’ Defendants’ doomsday rhetoric rings hollow because, as explained in detail in Florida, this problem is largely one of Defendants’ own making through the adoption an implementation of policies that have encouraged the so-called “irregular migration” that has become fairly regular over the past 2 years.”

A U.S. official told the Associated Press that Border Patrol agents were told to begin releasing migrants on Wednesday, with instructions to appear at a U.S. immigration office within 60 days.

The court’s temporary restraining order expires in two weeks, and a preliminary injunction hearing has been scheduled for May 19 in Pensacola, Florida.

The Biden regime is expected to appeal the ruling.


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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS - May 11: Migrants wait outside of a migrant processing center where buses drop off people to be processed on May 11, 2023 in Brownsville, Texas. Military members and Texas DPS troopers have been standing along the banks of the Rio Grande River in Brownsville to deter large numbers of people from entering the country ahead of Title 42 ending tonight. (Photo by Michael Gonzalez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)