White House accuses judge of "sabotage" for blocking its immigrant release policy

Judge Wetherell responds to the administration's allegations and denies their request to reinstate the immigration policy.

"Sabotage, pure and simple." With these words, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre described Judge T. Kent Wetherell II's ruling blocking the release of immigrants into the United States.

The judge suspended, for at least two weeks, a policy that would have allowed border authorities to release immigrants on U.S. streets before they had a court date.

These individuals would be released on parole and told to report in 60 days to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel. The judge pointed out numerous flaws in the policy, detailed in a memo signed by Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz.

Jean-Pierre also said in Friday's press briefing that the Department of Justice will fight Wetherell's "harmful ruling." She also assured that "claims that the CBP  is allowing or encouraging (the) mass release of migrants is categorically false." However, she did not refute the judge's arguments, nor did she detail how the government would fight his decision.

We’re going to continue to use every tool that we have to make sure that we are dealing with this issue in a humane and orderly way.

More beds against overcrowding

The measure blocked by Wetherell was aimed at clearing holding facilities for migrants who illegally crossed the southern border. What will the administration do then to prevent overcrowding?

"ICE announced that it is adding thousands more beds," the Democratic spokeswoman explained. She also assured that the president would "use every tool that he has," although she did not name any new measures. Instead, Jean-Pierre kicked the ball into Congress' court:

But look, we need Congress, beyond the ruling, beyond what we’ve seen from the sabotage. We want Congress to act. We want Congress to take action. And we just have not seen that.

The attorney general in the spotlight

Jean-Pierre responded that she would not comment on Attorney General Ashley Moody, who filed the successful lawsuit against the immigrant parole policy. Florida's attorney general had already obtained an injunction against another Biden immigration policy earlier this month. Both, Moody's injunction and the one issued by the judge, were identical.

The press secretary went on to accuse Moody of having also "sabotaged" the president's efforts to "humanely and effectively manage the border." She later said the same about Republican lawmakers.

Instead of trying to deal with the issue or talking to the federal government on how to deal with the issue, maybe in their state or in their city, they (GOP politicians) actually sabotage what we’re trying to do.

Have they begun to release migrants?

Meanwhile, various media outlets along the U.S.-Mexico border claimed that authorities had already released thousands of migrants.

Last Thursday, 2,000 people were reportedly released onto American streets, according to testimonies from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents gathered by journalists in the area. The New York Post, meanwhile, estimated that 1,100 immigrants were sent to the middle of the country from El Paso, Texas alone.

The judge responds

Wetherell on Saturday denied the government's request for an emergency motion related to their newest immigration policy. In the seven-page document, the judge wrote that there was no need to respond in depth to the administration's request because the motion was "borderline frivolous."

 DHS’s Chicken Little arguments about the impact of it not being able to (mis)use "parole" under either policy as a processing tool for the surge of aliens arriving at the border are hard to square with the DHS Secretary’s recent comments that only "a fraction of the people that we encounter" would be paroled into the country and that "the vast majority will be addressed in our border patrol facilities and our ICE detention facilities".

The district judge responded to Karine Jean-Pierre. He reminded her that her team has known since March that it could not use such a release policy, when Wetherell ruled against the first policy. He also criticized her use of the word "sabotage":

Moreover, if it is “sabotage” for a federal court to tell the federal government that it must comply with the law—or at least that it cannot misuse the limited parole authority provided by Congress—then so be it.

049110509617 by Santiago Adolfo Ospital on Scribd