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Appeals court upholds DeSantis' blocking mass release of illegal immigrants

The court denied Biden's request to stay a ruling by a Pensacola, Florida-based district judge blocking federal policies that allowed the mass release of illegal immigrants

Fallan contra polítca migratoria del gobierno federal
Ron DeSantis | Efe

June 8, 2023 9:12am

Updated: June 8, 2023 9:12am

A federal appeals court this week ruled that the Biden administration cannot implement particular immigration policies at the southern border, saying the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t proven they are necessary.

The Monday decision from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta handed Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another victory. The Florida governor brought the lawsuit through state Attorney General Ashley Moody to contest President Biden’s immigration policies.

In denying a court stay seeking to allow DHS to release some asylum-seekers into the U.S. on a “parole” basis with limited supervision, the appellate court ruled that the U.S. did not satisfy the standard needed to prove imminent harm.

“The department’s ability to ascertain future harm is uncertain at best,” the appellate judges opined in an eight page order. “Given this record, we take DHS’s latest claims of impending disaster if it is not allowed to use either of the challenged policies with some skepticism.”

The appeal is the result of an earlier 2021 lawsuit brought by Florida against the Biden administration, which asserts the president ignored a federal law that mandates illegal border crossers be detained.

U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell in March ordered U.S. immigration officials to restructure their Parole Plus Alternatives to Detention, known as “Parole + ATD,” policies.

The federal judge, appointed by former President Donald Trump, criticized the Biden administration for what he called an “unsustainable” crisis on the nation’s southern border. 

"Securing our border is one of our president's most fundamental responsibilities, and Florida will not allow Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to continue to put American lives at risk in clear violation of federal law."Attorney Moody said in a statement.

Moody and DeSantis, both Republicans, have criticized federal immigration policies during the Biden administration.

In September 2021 the state filed a lawsuit alleging that the Biden Administration violated immigration laws through "catch and release" policies that led to people being released from detention after crossing the country's southern border.