Washington, DC – As thousands of migrants massed on the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday in anticipation of the expiration of Title 42 at midnight, the head of the U.S. Border Patrol authorized the release of illegal immigrants into the country without court dates.
Title 42 is the public health order that has been used since March of 2020 to expel more than two million migrants because of the pandemic, FOX News reported.
It is scheduled to expire at midnight Eastern Time and President Joe Biden has declined to extend it.
On May 11, the head of U.S. Border Patrol sent out a memo to members of his agency authorizing the release of illegal migrants into the United States without having been assigned court dates if overcrowding hits 125 percent of facility capacity, FOX News reported.
The instruction went out as border patrol officials scrambled to prepare for a historic surge of illegal migrants across the border.
The memo from top border patrol official said migrants can be allowed into the country on parole, which is a process usually reserved for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit” if Customs and Border Protection (CBP) faced overcrowding, FOX News reported.
It called the practice “parole with conditions” because migrants are required to make an appointment with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or provide an address and request a Notice to Appear by mail.
Migrants admitted to the United States under a parole release do not get an alien registration number or a court date to appear, according to FOX News.
However, the memo said that the use of parole was only authorized if a sector capacity went over 125%, if agents apprehended 7,000 migrants a day over a 72-hour period, or if average time in custody goes above 60 hours.
More than 10,000 migrants a day have swarmed the border since Monday, FOX News reported.
“For the past 7 days, USBP has averaged over 8,750 encounters per day,” the Border Patrol head’s memo read. “This is over double the average daily encounters of 4,284 in May of 2019, the highest month of the 2019 surge. Even with significant personnel along the SWB, a significant detention capacity, and interagency resources supporting the effort, this situation requires urgent action.”
Critics have said the use of parole to relieve the border crisis is legally questionable, FOX News reported.
Florida successfully sued the Biden administration in March and blocked a similar policy, “Parole + ATD.”
The state filed another lawsuit over the latest plan this week but thus far, has not yet gotten an injunction to stop the chaos expected at midnight, FOX News reported.
“Florida seeks a temporary restraining order to preserve the status quo until the parties can brief motions for a preliminary injunction or to postpone the effective date of the new policy,” the complaint read. “The Biden Administration’s behavior, if left unchecked, makes a mockery of our system of justice and our Constitution.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has claimed the latest release will be similar to those conducted by prior administrations, FOX News reported.
“As Republican and Democratic administrations alike have done in the past to protect the safety and security of Border Patrol agents and migrants in the event of severe overcrowding conditions, U.S. Border Patrol sectors may consider releasing certain migrants who have undergone strict national security and public safety vetting to continue their immigration processes,” a DHS spokesperson said. “This may include processing migrants for parole to reduce the amount of time they spend in custody.”
“Each parole will be considered on an individualized case-by-case basis, and individuals who are released will be required to check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and undergo removal proceedings in immigration court. Individuals may be placed into an Alternatives to Detention program to ensure compliance, if deemed appropriate. The targeted use of parole will allow Border Patrol to focus its resources most effectively to quickly process and remove individuals who do not have a legal basis to remain in the country,” the spokesperson explained.