June 22, 2024

Judge questions if poverty qualifies under Biden policy allowing migrants from four countries into the US

2 min read
Judge questions if poverty qualifies under Biden policy allowing migrants from four countries into the US

Federal Judge Questions Whether Poverty Should Qualify for Biden’s Immigration Policy

In a latest twist in the ongoing legal battle over President Joe Biden’s immigration policy, a federal judge is now questioning whether living in poverty should qualify someone for entry into the U.S. on humanitarian grounds. The policy, which allows up to 30,000 individuals each month from four specific countries in the Americas to seek entry, has come under intense scrutiny from Texas and 20 other Republican-leaning states who argue it is a “shadow immigration system.”

The judge has raised concerns about whether poverty constitutes an urgent humanitarian need, while lawyers defending the program argue that migrants from these countries are not only fleeing economic hardships but also oppressive regimes and escalating violence. Supporters of the initiative stress that each case is individually reviewed, and not all applicants are accepted.

One of the key benefits of the program has been the reduction of strain on both resources and border agents along the U.S.-Mexico border. However, Texas claims financial losses due to the program, a notion that the judge has challenged. The judge also pointed out that spending has actually decreased over the past six months, questioning the validity of Texas’ claims.

The trial, which included closing arguments and questions to the lawyers, featured only one witness—a sponsor of a migrant from Nicaragua. Currently, no ruling has been issued on the legality of the parole program, with a decision potentially months away.

Since its inception, the program has allowed over 72,000 Haitians, 63,000 Venezuelans, 41,000 Cubans, and 34,000 Nicaraguans to enter the U.S. on humanitarian grounds. Notably, the lawsuit does not object to the use of humanitarian parole for tens of thousands of Ukrainians who sought refuge in the U.S. after Russia’s invasion.

Originally launched in 2022 for Venezuelans, the parole program was expanded in January, requiring online applications, airport arrival, and sponsorship. This initiative is just one of several implemented by the Biden administration to address the issue of illegal immigration, with each facing its own legal challenges. In fact, the judge has previously ruled against the Biden administration on deportation prioritization.

As the legal battle continues, the future of the parole program hangs in the balance. Both supporters and opponents eagerly await the judge’s ruling, which will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for immigration policy in the country.

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