Tennessee Attorney General Skrmetti Files Complaint Citing Abuse Of Parole Authority

  • Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti joined a 19-state coalition in demanding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reverse course regarding a new plan to parole hundreds of thousands of aliens into the United States.

A statement said, "Under the false pretense of preventing aliens from unlawfully crossing the border, DHS has effectively created a new visa program by announcing it will permit up to 360,000 aliens annually from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to be 'paroled' into the United States for two years or longer. The program allows aliens to obtain advance authorization to enter the United States, with eligibility for employment."

“It’s a fundamental principle of American life that the government must follow the law. The administration’s actions are not consistent with our country’s immigration laws,” General Skrmetti said. “The executive branch’s immigration parole power is limited and may only be used on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. The program we are challenging illegitimately attempts to turn this narrow parole power into a broad new visa program.”

The Supreme Court recently affirmed the limited nature of parole power, the brief explains, noting that “[parole power] is not unbounded… Under the [Administrative Procedure Act], DHS’s exercise of discretion within that statutory framework must be reasonable and reasonably explained.”

According to the brief, the program established by DHS “flaunts, rather than follows, the clear limitations imposed by Congress.”

The State of Texas led the effort, citing the possibility of substantial, irreparable harms should hundreds of thousands of additional aliens be permitted to enter its already overwhelmed territory. General Skrmetti signed on in addition to state attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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