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Judge blocks Biden from releasing illegal immigrants without court dates as Title 42 ends

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on April 8, 2021. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
May 12, 2023

A federal judge in Florida temporarily blocked the Biden administration from releasing illegal immigrants into the United States without court dates as the nation braces for a surge of illegal border crossings triggered by the expiration of Title 42 on Friday.

District Judge T. Kent Wetherell II issued a temporary restraining order that went into effect 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday and will remain in effect for two weeks.

The order was issued after Florida Attorney General Ashely Moody sued the Biden administration for attempting to enact a policy she argued is “materially identical” to Parole Plus Alternative to Detention, another Biden administration policy commonly referred to as “catch and release” that was struck down in March.

Wetherell suggested “Florida has a substantial likelihood of success” in its challenge of Biden’s mass-release plan “because the challenged policy appears to be materially indistinguishable from the Parole+ATD policy vacated in Florida — both in its purpose (reducing overcrowding at border patrol facilities) and manner of operation (releasing aliens into the country without first issuing a charging document placing them in immigration proceedings and simply directing the aliens to report to ICE within a specified period for further processing).”

On Monday, Texas deployed a special border force to support law enforcement efforts along the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of the end of Title 42, which Gov. Greg Abbott warned will cause a “catastrophic disaster.” Title 42 is a Trump-era public health policy that helped stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

“Right now as we are speaking, the Texas National Guard is loading Blackhawk helicopters and C130s, deploying specially trained National Guard members for the Texas Tactical Border Force. They will be deployed to hot spots along the border to intercept to repel and to turn back migrants who are trying to enter Texas illegally,” Abbott said.

Earlier this month, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) warned Mexican cartels are preparing to flood the United States’ southern border with between 700,000 and one million illegal immigrants.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.