Victory! Biden’s Catch-and-Parole Policy Vacated

Press Releases

March 8, 2023

Court agrees with IRLI that the Biden administration has no discretion to rewrite the law

WASHINGTON—Today, in a major victory, a Florida federal district court granted summary judgment to the state of Florida, vacating the Biden policy of catching and paroling illegal aliens. The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case urging that result.

The administration claimed in this case that it has unbounded discretion about whether to detain and deport illegal aliens, and so its policy of simply not enforcing the law cannot be reviewed by a court. In its brief, IRLI showed that, in fact, Congress very clearly and sharply limited the administration’s discretion when it mandated that illegal aliens be detained and removed from the country.

Today, in a blistering 109-page opinion, the court harshly denounced Biden’s immigration policies, saying that his actions since January 20, 2021 “were akin to posting a flashing ‘Come In, We’re Open’ sign on the southern border,” and that Biden has “effectively turned the Southwest Border into a meaningless line in the sand and little more than a speedbump for aliens flooding into the country.” Agreeing with IRLI, the court stated that prosecutorial discretion did not give the administration free reign to release many thousands of aliens the law requires it to detain.

“This is a huge victory, not least because the court’s full-throated denunciation of the administration’s immigration policies reflects, and will advance, a growing public awareness of how bad the situation at the border is,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “So far, the administration has believed it can float above the law, treating Congress, in essence, as an advisory body. We are pleased that the court rejected that deeply unconstitutional position, and took a big step today toward protecting both our constitutional separation of powers and our border.”

The case is Florida v. United States, No. 3:21-cv-1066 (N.D. Fla.).

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