Federal District Judge Judge T. Kent Wetherell, ruling on March 8th, struck down the Biden administration’s executive action that authorized the release of illegal immigrants within the United States as opposed to holding them in custody pending immigration hearings. Wetherell ruled that the policy is in violation of existing federal law.
According to The Epoch Times, “The evidence establishes that Defendants have effectively turned the Southwest Border into a meaningless line in the sand and little more than a speedbump for aliens flooding into the country.”
Attorney General of Florida, Ashley Moody sued the Biden administration in 2021 arguing the policy stood in violation of U.S. federal law. The White House argued that the State of Florida lacked the standing to sue, and had the discretion to choose not to hold the illegal immigrants in custody.
Wetherell explained in his ruling,
“The Supreme Court has recognized that immigration officials have “broad discretion” in carrying out the immigration laws, see Arizona v. United States, 567 U.S. 387, 396 (2012). But that discretion must be exercised within the confines established by Congress because, as the Supreme Court has repeatedly held, Congress—not the President or Executive Branch officials— has the “complete and absolute power” over the subject of immigration and “plenary power” over the admission and exclusion of aliens.”
As noted by the Times, The Immigration and Nationality Act calls for immigrants who arrive at our borders without proper documents to be subject to quick removal without a hearing or review. However, illegal aliens who claim asylum can have their claims heard but “shall be detained” until the claim is adjudicated.
The “shall be detained” wording in the law “means what it says and that is a mandatory requirement,” according to Wetherell stating that the Biden administration’s position “would render mandatory detention under” the act “meaningless.”
The judge also threw out the administration’s argument that Florida as a state wouldn’t have standing to sue, noting that it has the procedural right under the Administrative Procedure Act and that as a co-sovereign state, it has a territorial interest in illegal aliens being within the state.
As a federal judge ruled in our case this week, #BidenBrokeTheBorder
NOW, he must fix the immigration disaster he created. pic.twitter.com/9mCjDsM8DN
— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) March 10, 2023
Moody said in a statement according to the Times, “Today’s ruling affirms what we have known all along, President Biden is responsible for the border crisis and his unlawful immigration policies make this country less safe. A federal judge is now ordering Biden to follow the law, and his administration should immediately begin securing the border to protect the American people.”
The White House as of this writing has five days to appeal the ruling.