Twenty Red States File Badly Flawed Lawsuit Seeking to Terminate Private Sponsorship Program for People Fleeing Socialism and Oppression in Four Latin American Nations
The Biden Administration recently adapted the approach used by the successful Uniting for Ukraine private migrant sponsorship program to include a combined total of up to 30,000 migrants per month from four Latin American countries: Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Haiti. Under these programs, migrants fleeing war, oppression, poverty, and violence in these countries can quickly gain legal entry into the United States and the right to live and work here for up to two years, if they have a private sponsor in the US who commits to supporting them.
Yesterday, twenty GOP-controlled states filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the program for the four Latin American nations (though not Uniting for Ukraine). They claim the program lacks proper congressional authorization, and that it needed to go through the “notice and comment” procedure of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Ironically, the flaws in the lawsuit are highlighted by the plaintiff state governors’ own statements about the evils of socialism and the urgent need to address the crisis at the southern border.
The legal basis for these private sponsorship programs is a 1952 law that gives the attorney general the power to use “parole” to grant foreign citizens temporary residency rights in the US, “on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.” Are there “urgent humanitarian reasons” to grant entry to migrants fleeing these four Latin American nations? Most definitely! But don’t take my word for it. Take that of the governors of several of the states that filed this lawsuit.
Three of the four nations included in the program are ruled by oppressive socialist dictators, whose policies have created horrific conditions. Few have put it better than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whose state is one of the participants in lawsuit. As he said last year, Venezuela’s socialist president Nicolas Maduro is a “murderous tyrant” who “is responsible for countless atrocities and has driven Venezuela into the ground.” DeSantis went on to say that “people [in Venezuela] are “really hurting,”due to the government’s policies. It is indeed true that Venezuelan socialism has resulted in widespread oppression, poverty, and hyperinflation, leading to the biggest refugee crisis in the history of the Western hemisphere, with some 6 million people fleeing. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, whose state is spearheading the lawsuit, has also noted the severe economic crisis in Venezuela, which he (rightly) blames on socialism.
In 2021, DeSantis signed a law requiring Florida public schools to provide 45 minutes of instruction each year on the evils of Communist regimes, including that of Cuba, which DeSantis correctly described as responsible for “poverty, starvation, migration, systemic lethal violence, and suppression of speech.” Cuba, likewise, inflicts severe poverty and oppression on its people, including recent brutal suppression of protests in July 2021. It’s no accident that, before the recent Venezuela crisis, the biggest refugee flow in the history of the Western Hemisphere was that of people fleeing Cuban communism in the 1960s and 70s. Many would like to flee today, as well.
Nicaragua under the increasingly authoritarian socialist rule of Daniel Ortega is a similar story. Ortega’s repression has deepened already severe poverty, and created what even the left-leaning BBC describes as an “atmosphere of terror.” That’s why many Nicaraguans have sought to flee. As one Nicaraguan human rights activist puts it, conditions are so bad that “[t]hey’d rather die than return to Nicaragua.”
I don’t know about you. But it sure sounds to me like there are “urgent humanitarian reasons” for Cubans, Venezuelans, and Nicaraguans to seek refuge in the US. And few understand that better than the people bringing the lawsuit seeking to prevent them from getting it. Abbott, DeSantis, and other GOP governors have repeatedly denounced both the evils of socialism generally, and those of the Cuban, Venezuelan, and Nicaraguan governments specifically.
But perhaps they have somehow forgotten these things. If so, DeSant
Article from Reason.com