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Can Florida sue over immigration parole policies?

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Immigration Law

The issue of immigration enforcement remains contentious in the United States. A recent lawsuit filed by the Sunshine State against the Biden administration highlights this ongoing debate. The lawsuit centers on the federal government’s use of parole programs that allow undocumented immigrants apprehended at the border to be released into the country while they await immigration proceedings.

The Sunshine State argues that these policies violate federal law and impose undue burdens on the state. However, a key question before the courts is whether Florida has the legal standing to even bring this lawsuit.

Arguments for and against standing

Florida’s argument hinges on the idea that the federal government’s immigration policies directly impact the state’s finances. They claim the additional strain on social services caused by the released immigrants constitutes a concrete injury. On the other hand, the federal government contends that these costs are part of the general burdens of governance that all states bear. They argue that the Sunshine State hasn’t shown a particularized harm distinct from what other states experience.

The appeals court weighs in

In February 2024, the federal appeals court requested further briefing on the Sunshine State’s legal standing. This indicates that the court is carefully considering the arguments on both sides. The outcome of this legal wrangling could have significant implications for future challenges to federal immigration policies by states.

The question of the Sunshine State’s legal standing to challenge the federal government’s parole policies for undocumented immigrants remains unresolved. While the state argues it suffers concrete harm due to the policy’s effects, the Supreme Court’s prior decision creates a hurdle. The appeals court’s decision on this issue will be closely watched, as it could set a precedent for future legal battles over immigration enforcement concerns that arise between states and the federal government.