Dear Karen,

As the days are getting warmer, please see below (and visit our microsite) for the red state attacks on immigrant-inclusive policies that are heating up, too. 

View Litigation Tracker

March 15, 2023

FL judge vacates DHS’s “parole + alternatives to detention” policy, but denies broader relief to FL

Last week, the Trump-appointed judge in Florida’s lawsuit seeking to force the Biden Administration to detain more asylum seekers issued a ruling that is big on bark but (thankfully) more limited on bite. In his opinion, Judge Wetherell recites right-wing talking points in holding that the humanitarian crisis at the border is “largely of [the Biden Administration’s] own making,” likening the Administration’s defense of its policies to “a child who kills his parents and then seeks pity for being an orphan.” Notwithstanding the (factually dubious) bluster, the relief Judge Wetherell granted Florida is relatively narrow. He vacated (nullified) the DHS policy of releasing some asylum seekers from detention to monitor them via arguably more humane and less expensive alternatives to detention (e.g., GPS monitor) but declined to order any other relief to Florida. 

Judge Wetherell stayed (paused) his ruling for a week to give the Biden Administration time to seek a longer stay from the court of appeals, but it did not do so before that time elapsed. 

Judge Tipton refuses to transfer CHNV case 

Also last week, the Trump-appointed judge handpicked by Texas to hear the red state challenge to the Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela (“CHNV”) parole programs denied the Biden Administration’s motion to transfer the case for it to be randomly assigned a judge. In his opinion, Judge Tipton explained that he denied the motion principally because the defendants refused to say that they personally believe he is biased (a question that Judge Tipton asked repeatedly during argument on the motion).  

WV files motion for a preliminary injunction in its long-dormant lawsuit about the RMX termination 

If you weren’t aware that West Virginia has a lawsuit challenging the termination of Remain in Mexico, there are good reasons for it: the case has been stayed (paused) for more than 14 months, and little happened in it before then, either, mostly because of the success Texas has had in its RMX case. But earlier this week, West Virginia unexpectedly filed a motion asking the judge to preliminarily enjoin (block) the October 2021 decision to end RMX. That RMX termination decision is already paused because of the Texas RMX case, but West Virginia also wants the judge to order the Biden Administration to try to restart RMX. 

For many different reasons, this gambit should fail, but West Virginia clearly sees some value in trying before the Trump-appointed Judge Kleeh, who West Virginia chose to hear the case by “judge shopping” (filing the case where there was a 100% chance it would be assigned to him). 

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As always, we’ll keep you posted on these and other cases.

Thanks for reading,

Laura Flores

Skadden Fellow

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