Washington — Twenty Republican-controlled states filed a lawsuit on Tuesday asking a federal judge in Texas to halt a program recently unveiled by the Biden administration that would allow up to 30,000 migrants from four countries to enter the U.S. legally each month if they have American sponsors.
Announced by President Biden earlier this month as part of a new strategy to deter unlawful border crossings, the program allows eligible migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to live and work in the U.S. legally under a humanitarian immigration authority known as parole.
The Biden administration has argued the program, coupled with increased expulsions of migrants who attempt to enter the U.S. illegally, will allow the U.S. to better manage the historic migration flows recorded along the southern border over the past two years.
Since the measures were announced in early January, the daily average of migrants apprehended after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without legal permission has dropped by over 40%, according to internal government statistics obtained by CBS News.
But the coalition of states led by Texas alleged in their lawsuit that the sponsorship policy illegally expands the scope of the parole authority, which they argued can only be used in extraordinary cases. The states also said officials should have allowed the public to comment on the program before implementing it.
The policy, the states wrote in their lawsuit, “amounts to the creation of a new visa program that allows hundreds of thousands of aliens to enter the United States who otherwise have no basis for doing so.”