The Texas-led lawsuit seeks to stop large-scale humanitarian parole for those four countries, which may total 360,000 people a year. It has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton in Corpus Christi, an appointee of Donald Trump who has ruled against President Joe Biden on who to prioritize for deportation.
"This unlawful amnesty program, which will invite hundreds of thousands of aliens into the U.S. every year, will only make this immigration crisis drastically worse," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a news release.
By law, Homeland Security may parole migrants into the United States “only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”
So far, 1,700 Cubans, Nicaraguans and Haitians have reached the United States on humanitarian parole under the policy changes announced this month, and thousands more from those three countries have been approved, administration officials told reporters on a conference call on condition of anonymity. The number of Venezuelans was not immediately available.
Roberto Velasco, Mexico Foreign Relations Department's director of North American affairs, echoed Mayorkas’ comments that the recent changes are a success.
"The measures announced by the United States have begun delivering important results with the twin objectives of opening avenues to regular migration and also considerably reducing risks associated with irregular migration flows," he wrote Tuesday in Mexico's Excelsior newspaper.
A surge in Cuban and Nicaraguan arrivals in December led to the highest number of illegal crossings recorded during any month of Biden's presidency, the administration reported last week. Authorities stopped migrants 251,487 times along the Mexican border in December, up 7% from November and up 40% from the same period a year earlier.
Homeland Security said Wednesday that January numbers were “on track” to be the lowest since February 2021, Biden's first full month in office.