A federal judge struck down the Biden administration’s immigration policy that has been dubbed by critics as ‘catch and release’ (Picture: Reuters)
President Joe Biden’s policy to release many immigrants caught illegally crossing the US-Mexico border instead of detaining has been struck down.
A federal judge agreed with Florida’s Republican attorney general that the Biden administration’s policy that critics have dubbed as ‘catch and release’ violated US immigration law.
US District Judge Kent Wetherell, appointed by ex-President Donald Trump, on Wednesday blocked the Biden administration from implementing a 2021 Department of Homeland Security memorandum that allowed ‘alternatives to detention’.
The memo was aimed at relieving some of the overcrowding at detention facilities, through measures including ankle bracelets, immigration officer check-ins and monitoring by phone.
The Biden administration has been given seven days to file an appeal the judge’s ruling (Picture: Reuters)
But Wetherell, in Pensacola, agreed with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s argument that immigration officials do not have the power to widely implement the alternative methods under federal law.
‘For the most part, the court finds in favor of Florida because, as detailed below, 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,’ wrote Wetherell.
The Biden administration has been given seven days to file an appeal, or the ruling will take effect.
Wetherell also labeled Biden’s immigration policies as a whole as ‘akin to posting a flashing “Come In, We’re Open” sign on the southern border’.
‘The unprecedented “surge” of aliens that started arriving at the Southwest Border almost immediately after President Biden took office and that has continued unabated over the past two years was a predictable consequence of these actions,’ Wetherell wrote.
Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ deputy press secretary Jeremy Redfern told Politico that Wetherell ‘indicated the governor’s actions and ruled that the Biden Administration is breaking federal immigration law by failing to fulfill the duties of his office and secure the nation’s border’.
The ruling came as reports surfaced that the Biden administration is considering reopening some of the detention centers that it had closed.
Homeland Security officials did not immediately comment on the ruling.
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