A federal judge in Florida ordered the US Border Patrol on Thursday not to release any migrants without proper notice to appear in immigration court.
Lee Gelernt, lead attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union on Title 42 litigation, said the order would not affect the expiration of Title 42 immigration restrictions during the pandemic.
But that could complicate the Border Patrol’s efforts to manage how many migrants cross into the United States.
To speed up processing, the Border Patrol has allowed some people to be released without formal notice, which takes time to prepare and can lead to overcrowding at border crossings. But after Florida challenged the earlier version, the Biden administration stalled.
After the Border Patrol released a revised policy this week, Florida went back to court to try to block the release without notice, leading to a temporary restraining order issued Thursday.
The Border Patrol said in a statement that it is complying with the court order and is evaluating the next steps.
“This is a harmful ruling that will result in unsafe crowding at CBP facilities and reduce our ability to efficiently process and remove immigrants, and risks creating dangerous conditions for Border Patrol agents and immigrants. When border patrol stations are overcrowded, the safety and security of immigrants and workers The truth is that Republican and Democratic administrations have used this parole power to protect.
Aaron Reichlin-Melnyk, policy director of the American Immigration Council, said he was concerned about the ramifications of the judge’s order.
“The big fear is that it takes 2-3 times longer for a person to process a notice to appear in court versus granting someone parole, which means you’ve tightened a barrier.”