Just hours before Title 42 expired, a federal judge in Florida temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s migrant parole policy that would release illegal immigrants into the United States without court dates.

On Thursday evening, Judge T. Keny Wetherell II issued a two-week restraining order on the Biden administration’s new policy that was set to replace Title 42, the COVID-era measure that allowed illegal immigrants to be immediately sent out of the United States.

The ruling was announced by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who wrote on Twitter, “We took swift action to protect the American people from [Joe Biden’s] unlawful plan to release thousands of illegal immigrants when Title 42 lifts in an hour. I am grateful for the quick decision by the federal judge.”

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Ahead of this last-minute ruling, the Biden administration’s attorneys implored Wetherell to deny Florida’s attempt to block the new policies that they say are “necessary to address an imminent and dramatic increase [of] arrivals at the southwest border.”

“The Court should deny this request to limit the Executive’s authority to carry out a core Executive function, managing the border, particularly on an emergency basis without the benefit of full briefing on the eve of an expected dramatic increase in arrivals at the border,” the Biden attorneys wrote.

Biden’s new policy will allow apprehended illegal immigrants to be released into the United States without being assigned an alien registration number or a court date.

Defending the federal government’s approach to the immigration crisis, Biden’s legal team said, “DHS is exercising all available authority to address the anticipated surge in migrants, but its available staffing and facilities to safely process and issue charging documents to record numbers of new arrivals are limited. In the face of an imminent crisis, DHS must make use of all available statutory authority Congress has granted it to process migrants, including parole.”

In Wetherell’s ruling, he criticized this policy, writing, “The policy does not contemplate that the alien would be taken into custody at the [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] facility and, as was the case with the Parole+ATD policy, aliens released under the challenged policy would not have an immigration ‘case’ that can ‘continue to be dealt with’ after the purposes of the parole have been served.”

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