Federal judge nixes Biden plans to release migrants into US without court dates

By Jen Krausz on
 May 15, 2023

Federal judge Judge T. Kent Wetherell II has denied the Biden administration a temporary stay on a ruling that migrants cannot be released into the U.S. without court dates.

The ruling forces Border Patrol and DHS to detain all migrants asking for asylum until their hearings take place, and the current backlog is already years-long for those hearings.

"DHS’s Chicken Little arguments about the impact of it not being able to (mis)use ‘parole’ under either policy as a processing tool for the surge of aliens arriving at the border are hard to square with the DHS Secretary’s recent comments that only ‘a fraction of the people that we encounter’ would be paroled into the country and that ‘the vast majority will be addressed in our border patrol facilities and our ICE detention facilities,’" Trump-appointed Wetherell wrote.

The case came before Wetherell when Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sued over the policy, termed "catch-and-release" or "parole."

The Biden administration argued that it would only use the policy when conditions were dire or at crisis level on the border, but that may be a daily situation with the end of Title 42 last week.

Ahead of the rule's end, DHS saw 10,000 migrants a day trying to cross the border for each of three days.