Texas is seeking to block another Biden administration immigration move that would allow border officials to process asylum claims – which the state says will allow for more migrants to enter the US.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit on Thursday, requesting the rule not be implemented and declared unlawful, as the crisis at the southern border rages on
“We know what’ll happen when the rule goes into effect: new waves of illegals claiming ‘asylum.’ I’m suing to stop it.”
At the end of March, the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice announced the rule saying it will “improve and expedite processing of asylum claims made by noncitizens subject to expedited removal.”
“The rule authorizes asylum officers within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to consider the asylum applications of individuals subject to expedited removal who assert a fear of persecution or torture and pass the required credible fear screening,” they announced.
After reviewing all relevant information in an asylum request, border officers will be permitted to decide on the individual’s request. Individuals who are not granted asylum will then be sent to an immigration judge for a “removal proceeding,” which would take place within 90 days.
The rule is set to take effect on May 29.
Typically, only immigration judges within the DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review would have the authority to decide such claims. However, the process can take several years due to a backlog of 1.7 million cases. At the time of the announcement, the Departments said they hope to shrink this wait time to only “several months.”
Paxton’s suit – which names DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and President Biden as some of the defendants – claims the administration sees the wait time for proper proceedings as “impracticable.”
“The Interim Rule transfers significant authority from immigration judges to asylum officers, grants those asylum officers significant additional authority, limits immigration-judge review to denials of applications, and upends the entire adjudicatory system to the benefit of aliens,” the lawsuit reads.
It further purports that the administration pushed for the rule to “release even more illegal aliens into our country” because they were “unsatisfied with releasing” more than 835,000 into the US so far.
Texas’ lawsuit comes as hundreds of thousands of migrants continue to make their way across the border. Experts fear that thousands more will cross in the coming weeks if the administration successfully lifts the Title 42 health order.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, border officials have been able to quickly expel migrants without hearing asylum claims. On April 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it would be eliminating the policy on May 23.
This week, a Louisiana federal judge temporarily blocked the move.
The suit also comes just days after Texas National Guardsman Bishop Evans died attempting to save two drowning migrants – who were later determined to be a part of “illicit transnational narcotics trafficking.”