DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas lost his appeal from a Federal district court’s injunction blocking DHS from implementing a policy that allows for the release of migrants into the US without court dates. The Appellate Court summarized (within my own summary) Mayorkas’ plaint [italics added]:
As to irreparable injury, [DHS argued among other things]…”The most immediate consequence of the [District Court’s] orders,” according to DHS, “will likely be [the] overcrowding [of] CBP facilities during increases in border encounters,” which would threaten the “health, safety, and security” of USBP officers and aliens.
The Appellate Court wrote in part:
To start, DHS’s claims of irreparable injury ring somewhat hollow on this record, considering the department’s track record of overstating similar threats in the underlying proceedings. For instance, on January 12, 2023, DHS represented to the district court that any vacatur of the Parole+ATD policy would result in “disastrous consequences” for the management of the border starting the very next day. DHS made the same representation again on February 16, 2023. But, in truth, CBP had stopped using the Parole+ATD practices as of January 2, 2023, and DHS now admits that it was able to “manage its detention capacity [since January] using many other tools at its disposal.” The department’s ability to ascertain future harm is uncertain at best. Given this record, we take DHS’s latest claims of impending disaster if it is not allowed to use either of the challenged policies with some skepticism.
Recent data from the border casts further doubt on DHS’s irreparable-injury argument. Contrary to DHS’s catastrophic predictions, the number of daily encounters with aliens did not surge in the days following the expiration of the Title 42 order on May 11, 2023, but instead fell significantly. Compare Doc. 13-1 ¶ 11 in No. 23-cv-09962 (predicting a daily average of 12,000–14,000 encounters), with Doc. 28 at 4 in No. 23-cv-09962 (showing that the number of encounters dropped from 9,649 on May 11, 2023, to 4,193 on May 14). DHS has neither explained how that data is consistent with its representations nor provided any more recent data demonstrating a surge in illegal crossings at the border. This Court will not find irreparable harm based on mere conjecture.
This is the court calling Mayorkas—politely, mind you, and with the circumlocutions for which courts are well-known—a liar. Which he is. Now the case, State of Florida v United States of America, et al., will finish its wending through our courts with the block on blanket release without any requirement to show up in court remaining in place.
The 11th Circuit’s ruling (nearly unanimous; one judge concurred in part and dissented in part) can be read here. It’s a breathtakingly terse dismissal of Mayorkas’ dishonesty.