TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- After a legal challenge from Florida’s governor and those of 19 other Republican-led states, the head of the Department of Homeland Security defended the parole process that allows up to 30,000 Haitians, Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans a month to come to the United States.
During a press conference at Little Haiti Cultural Center on Monday, Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of DHS, said, “I find it remarkable that states attack solutions to problems they complain about.”
As part of a challenge to the Biden administration’s two-year parole program, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis joined Texas and 18 other states. Although the case has not yet been heard by a federal judge, the challenge has sparked panic in the communities that would benefit.
Since the program addresses the challenges we have encountered on our southern border, Mayorkas said it was “incomprehensible” that the lawsuit was filed.
According to preliminary data released last week by the Department of Homeland Security, encounters with Cubans, Nicaraguans, Haitians, and Venezuelans without proper documentation have declined by 97% since December.
A lawsuit is being filed in Texas. According to the state governments, the parole program exceeds the authority of the immigration agency and goes beyond its bounds.
Furthermore, they say that the arrival of migrants through the parole program will strain state resources. The defendants include Mayorkas, DHS, and the immigration agencies under its umbrella and their leadership.
A meeting between Mayorkas and Florida U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz Balart, Maria Elvira Salazar, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Carlos Gimenez was held on Sunday. After a meeting with Haitian American politicians, Miami religious leaders, immigration lawyers and activists, and county leaders, including Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, a press conference was held Monday.
Mayorkas is the agency’s first Latino and immigrant leader. His visit to Miami on Monday marks his third since becoming DHS chief. In August 2021, he announced sanctions against Cuban officials following the July 11 antigovernment protests. A previous visit to South Florida had also taken place in May.