Texas Sues Biden Homeland Security Over Rule Allowing More Asylum-Seekers

Texas Sues Biden Homeland Security Over Rule Allowing More Asylum-Seekers
Border Patrol agents apprehend and transport illegal immigrants who have just crossed the river into La Joya, Texas, on Nov. 17, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

The Texas Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit Thursday to block the Department of Homeland Security from allowing more asylum-seekers to remain in the United States.

Targeting Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and President Joe Biden, the lawsuit (pdf) seeks a permanent ruling against an interim rule that the attorney general says will “release even more illegal aliens into our country.”

The new federal immigration rules would allow asylum officers from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to screen applicants who are subject to expedited removal from the country. People who say they are fearful of torture or prosecution in their country of origin can remain if they successfully pass a test.

Last month, Homeland Security and the Department of Justice announced the change in screening procedures. Typically, U.S. immigration judges would carry out credible fear screenings for those seeking asylum.

But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in the Thursday lawsuit, said the policy shift violates the law and will invite more illegal immigrants into the United States because it limits immigration judges’ power.

“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 Texas Republican wrote in the lawsuit.

Paxton submitted the latest lawsuit to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. It’s the 11th immigration-related lawsuit he’s filed against the Biden administration, which Paxton has previously accused of abdicating its border security responsibility.

“I protested the proposed version of these rules back in October 2021, and, unsurprisingly, Biden found a way to make it worse, so I’m suing,” Paxton said in a statement. “The last thing Texas needs is for this Administration to make it easier for illegal aliens to enter the U.S. and obtain asylum through false claims and less oversight.”

Paxton claimed that Texans “know what’s going to happen when the rule goes into effect in May 2022: wave upon wave of illegal aliens claiming ‘asylum.’”

“It’s true that our immigration system is extremely backlogged. But the answer is to secure the border, not overwhelm it even more by enacting cheap, easy incentives for illegal aliens to get into the United States,” he continued.

Last month, Mayorkas and the Justice Department said the rule change should be implemented to hasten the processing of asylum claims “ensuring that those who are eligible for asylum are granted relief quickly, and those who are not are promptly removed.”

In a news release at the time, Mayorkas also asserted that the policy shift is something that was “long needed” and said that “those who are not eligible will be rapidly removed.”

Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled against the Biden administration’s plan to end the Title 42 health order that was established during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

The Epoch Times has contacted the Department of Homeland Security for comment.

From The Epoch Times