Texas AG sues Biden administration over scheduled border processing rule change

by Trinity Cardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


For the 11th time since January 2021, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued the Biden administration over its immigration policy. In the latest round of litigation, Paxton is seeking to have a court block the implementation of a new rule that would allow U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers on the southern border to process asylum claims.

The new rule, which was announced by the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice in late March and is slated to take effect May 29, was heralded by the Biden Cabinet as a way to speed the processing of claims and break a logjam of asylum cases, but through his suit, Paxton attests the policy will only worsen the influx of migrants seeking entry.

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

Were the new rule to survive judicial scrutiny, it would empower USCIS officers to hear cases of people who “assert a fear of persecution or torture and pass the required credible fear screening.” These cases are currently overseen by immigration judges.

Officers would only be allowed to grant entry to the applicants. Those rejected would still have their cases heard by a judge.

“The current system for handling asylum claims at our borders has long needed repair,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in March. “Through this rule, we are building a more functional and sensible asylum system to ensure that individuals who are eligible will receive protection more swiftly, while those who are not eligible will be rapidly removed. We will process claims for asylum or other humanitarian protection in a timely and efficient manner while ensuring due process.”

It remains to be established if the rule change would sufficiently relieve the caseload faced by immigration judges. The administration is banking on most asylum seekers having come to the country out of a legitimate need for asylum.

There is also an embedded assumption that officers will not face an ever-expanding caseload, which will almost certainly not bear out in the short term as the pending end of Title 42 is expected to bring hundreds of thousands more migrants to the United States.

“It’s true that our immigration system is extremely backlogged,” Paxton said. “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.”

As reported by Reuters, last week Mexico detained 6,000 migrants who were newly encountered. From Jan. 1 through April 12, Mexican officials have detained more than 115,000 migrants from 42 nations.