Will the Fifth Circuit Let Texas Challenge Mass Parole?

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July 9, 2024

IRLI gives new reasons states have standing

WASHINGTON—The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has filed a brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals showing that Texas and other states, contrary to an erroneous ruling by a federal district court, do have standing to challenge one of the Biden Administration’s unlawful mass parole programs. In showing how the district court erred, IRLI points out facts other parties have missed.

The program allows 30,000 aliens a month from four countries—Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela—to sign up on an app and then be mass-paroled into the United States. When Texas and twenty other states challenged the program in court, the court looked at figures showing that, since the program started, the numbers of aliens entering the country from these four countries had actually declined. Based on this decline, the court concluded that the states were not injured by the program, and thus lacked standing to sue.

On appeal, the states show that at least much of the decline in numbers was due, not to this program, but to ordinary seasonal fluctuation. In its brief, IRLI adds other points. First, the mass parole program harms Texas and other states because it gives supposed legal status to aliens who would otherwise be illegal. This upgrade in status makes them eligible for more public benefits, causing a greater drain on states’ resources. Over time, this greater expense will be compounded when the supposed parolees decide to exercise their option to naturalize and become U.S. citizens, making them eligible for yet more public benefits.

IRLI also shows that states, which have an interest in their residents’ welfare, will be harmed because their resident U.S. workers will have to compete for jobs and wages with parolees once those parolees are granted work authorization, as they will be under yet another illegal program.

“Congress deliberately restricted parole in the 1990s to stop exactly what this program does, which is let in hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens a year through mass parole,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “If left unchallenged, the program will harm states greatly, not to mention American workers facing even more job competition from aliens. These injuries mean the states definitely do have standing, and we hope the appellate court sees that, and reverses the district court.”

The case is Texas v. DHS, No. 24-40160 (Fifth Circuit).

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