Florida sues, judge blocks Biden policy to release illegal immigrants moments before Title 42 expires

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


A federal judge has blocked the Biden administration from implementing a policy that would have required Customs and Border Patrol to release migrants into the U.S. without court dates or any means with which to track them. 

Judge T. Kent Wetherell II imposed a two-week restraining order on the policy Thursday just hours before Title 42, a pandemic-era migrant expulsion rule, came to an end. Under the administration’s policy, Customs and Border Patrol agents would have been required to release migrants on “parole with conditions” if detention centers became overcrowded after Title 42 ended. In such cases, migrants would be released on condition that they make an appointment with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or request a Notice to Appear by mail. However, the proposal lacked any method of tracking or monitoring released migrants because it did not require an assigned alien registration number or a court date.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sued the Biden administration over the policy and on Wednesday filed the motion for an emergency stay. Moody argued that the new directive was “materially identical” to a “Parole + ATD” policy Wetherell had already blocked in March. The judge set a hearing on the matter two weeks from his order granting the TRO.

Wetherell castigated the Biden administration in the ruling.

“The Southwest Border has been out of control for the past 2 years. And it is about to get worse because, at midnight tonight, the Title 42 Order expires,” he wrote.

The expiration of the Title 42 Order is expected to result in a ‘surge’ of aliens seeking to enter the country because there are reportedly tens of thousands of aliens staged at the Southwest Border waiting for the Title 42 Order to expire so that they can seek to enter the country,” he continued, adding: “And that is on top of the tens of thousands of aliens that have reportedly crossed the border into the country each day over the past few weeks in anticipation of the Title 42 Order expiring.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Chief Raul Oritz, who proposed the parole policy in 2022, estimated on Wednesday that between 60,000 and 65,000 migrants were waiting in northern Mexico to cross the border, NBC News reported

Thousands of migrants were already believed to have been released from Border Patrol custody on Thursday under the administration’s new directive.

Multiple media outlets had reported that CPB agents had encountered between 10,000 and 11,000 migrants for three days straight ahead of Title 42’s expiration, with migrant detention facilities and nongovernmental agency shelters already stretched well beyond capacity.


Critics of Biden’s border policies that have resulted in an explosion of illegal immigration have long expressed frustration over the administration’s mixed messaging on the unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Repeated pronouncements from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that the border is closed contradict policies coming out of the administration that make it easier for foreign nationals to cross into — and remain — in the U.S. illegally

“The border is not open,” Mayorkas declared Thursday afternoon at a press briefing. “Starting tonight, people who arrive at the border without using a lawful pathway will be presumed ineligible for asylum.”

He added: “We have 24,000 Border Patrol Agents and Officers at the Southwest Border and have surged thousands of troops and contractors, and over a thousand asylum officers to help enforce our laws. Do not believe the lies of smugglers.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, one of the most vocal critics of Biden’s border policies, accused the President of “abandon[ing] his constitutional duty to protect America” in a Thursday tweet.

The Republican governor has taken measures to secure the state’s border with Mexico, which most recently included the deployment of Texas National Guard members to the border and the installation of razor-wire barriers ahead of the Title 42 expiration. The influx of millions of unauthorized migrants over the past two years has wreaked havoc on Texas and other border state communities forced to deal with the chaos with woefully insufficient resources.

Fox News’s Bill Melugin posted drone footage of migrants on the other side of the barriers as they attempted to cross the border in the early hours of Friday.

This article was partially informed by Daily Wire, Fox News, The Center Square, The New York Post, and The Washington Examiner reports.