Judge Upholds Biden Program Giving Some Immigrants Short-Term Legal Status

A federal judge on Friday allowed the Biden administration to keep in place a program that officials have used to give temporary legal status to some citizens of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

The decision is a notable victory for the White House, which has faced criticism on immigration policy and has used the temporary status program to discourage people from some of the region’s most troubled countries from illegally crossing the southern U.S. border.

Texas and other Republican-led states had sued the Biden administration to block the program. But Judge Drew B. Tipton of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas sided with the administration, which considered the program vital to border management.

The number of unlawful crossings by nationals from three of the countries in the program has declined, even as the overall number of migrant crossings has continued at historically high levels.

The ruling by Judge Tipton is a blow to Texas, which has filed a spate of lawsuits against the Biden administration as part of the state’s effort to shape immigration policy, historically a federal matter.

The judge concluded that states could not be injured when the government adopted a program that leads to a reduction in border crossings.

“The record establishes that the number of Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan nationals entering the United States since the program’s implementation has dramatically decreased by as much as 44 percent,” the judge wrote in his 31-page decision.

“Plaintiffs, therefore, are unable to demonstrate that they have been injured by the program,” he added, “and as a result they lack standing to bring these claims.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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