Monday, May 16, 2022

ICE Leaving Thousands of Detention Beds Empty as Feds Beg for Help from Supreme Court; Border Crisis Driven by Biden’s Shift in DHS’s ‘Parole’ Release Policy

AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, Pool
ICE leaving thousands of detention beds empty as feds beg for help from Supreme Court:
President Biden’s attorney, defending the government’s immigration policies to the Supreme Court late last month, painted a picture of an administration eager to detain illegal immigrants to the full extent of the law but stymied by a stingy Congress that won’t provide any more beds.
The numbers don’t back that up.
From Dec. 1 to March 31, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Homeland Security Department agency tasked with detaining illegal immigrants, left an average of more than 7,600 beds empty on any given day, or about 27% of its total capacity.
Now, as the Biden administration pleads with the justices for permission to end the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, those empty beds could come back to haunt officials.
“If you are complying with the law, you are going to use as close as possible to the total number of ICE beds you are authorized for,” said Gene Hamilton, a former top official at the Justice and Homeland Security departments who has tracked the Supreme Court case for America First Legal. “It’s another example of just being very disingenuous with what their capabilities are as compared to what the law requires.”
The beds are at the core of immigration policy.
Under the law, Congress laid out three options for handling illegal immigrants caught jumping the border. They can be detained while they fight deportation, they can be “paroled” into the country in limited circumstances where there is a compelling public interest, or they can be pushed back into Mexico to wait for their deportation cases to be processed.
That latter option was the basis for Remain in Mexico, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, which the Trump administration used to resolve the border surge in 2019.
Now facing a worse surge, the Biden administration says MPP is cruel and doesn’t want to use it. --->READ MORE HERE
Border Crisis Driven by Biden’s Shift in DHS’s ‘Parole’ Release Policy:
The Southwest border is in chaos, with Border Patrol agents apprehending a record number of illegal migrants there in FY 2021, and apprehensions in FY 2022 (through March) already above one million. When CDC orders mandating the expulsion of illegal migrants expire — orders issued under Title 42 of the U.S. Code in response to the Covid-19 pandemic — things will get exponentially worse. This disaster is driven by the Biden administration’s new policy of releasing illegal migrants it can’t detain on “parole”. That policy shift is at the heart of a critical case pending at the Supreme Court, but it is one that the parties have failed to properly resolve — at least thus far.
Biden v. Texas. The case in question is Biden v. Texas, which I referred to in February as “the most significant immigration case ever because the Court will be considering whether there are any limits on the administration’s authority to ignore explicit congressional mandates in allowing foreign nationals to enter and remain in the United States”.
On its face, Texas deals with the administration’s ability to rescind the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), better known as “Remain in Mexico”. MPP allowed DHS to return “other than Mexican” migrants caught entering illegally or without proper documents back to Mexico — where the Mexican government agreed to provide them with protection for the duration of their stays — to await removal hearings. When the date of those hearings arrived, they were then paroled (but not released) into the United States to apply for asylum.
In its October 2019 assessment of the program, DHS found that MPP was “an indispensable tool in addressing the ongoing crisis at the southern border and restoring integrity to the immigration system”, particularly as related to alien migrant families. Asylum cases were expedited under the program, and MPP removed incentives for aliens to make weak or bogus claims when apprehended.
The state plaintiffs (Texas and Missouri) charge that DHS: (1) Is required to detain every illegal migrant that it apprehends at the Southwest border; (2) lacks the space needed to detain those illegal migrants; (3) is limited in its statutory ability to release aliens on parole; and thus (4) cannot stop sending illegal migrants back across the border to await their hearings by rescinding “Remain in Mexico”.
Again, “on its face” Texas is about MPP, but as Justice Kavanaugh explained, “the heart of the case” is whether DHS can release migrants it is mandated to detain on parole simply because DHS lacks detention space. --->READ MORE HERE
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