Judge supports Biden program that gives 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 represents a notable victory for the White House, which has faced criticism over 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 states’ southern border United.

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 viewed the program as vital to border management.

The number of illegal crossings by citizens of three of the countries included in the program decreased, although the overall number of migrant crossings remained at historically high levels.

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

The judge concluded that states could not be harmed when the government adopted a program that reduced border crossings.

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

“Plaintiffs, therefore, are unable to demonstrate that they were harmed by the program,” he added, “and consequently have no standing to make such claims.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.