Texas says the move has led to a surge in illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed yet another lawsuit against the Biden administration, claiming the White House’s decision to backtrack on former President Trump’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” has triggered a new wave of illegal immigration.
The Austin American-Statesmen reports that the lawsuit is Paxton’s third immigration-related lawsuit against the Biden administration—and the second filed in the last week.
The Migrant Protection Protocols, as LegalReader.com has written before, requires most non-Mexican asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their petitions are processed.
While the protocols require Mexico to provide asylum-seekers with humanitarian resources and backing, critics of the program have long claimed that the United States’ southern neighbor is ill-equipped to shelter undocumented immigrants and other persecuted persons. Cartels have purportedly preyed on asylum-seekers waiting to enter the United States, many of whom are forced to wait months for their initial asylum hearings.
But in his lawsuit against the Biden administration, Attorney General Paxton said that the so-called MPPs have reduced financial and personnel burdens on immigration enforcement officials.
By ending the MPPs, Paxton said, President Joe Biden has contributed to a recent uptick in immigration applications, illegal entries, and asylum claims.
“President Biden could immediately remedy the influx of crime pouring across our border,” Paxton said. “We cannot allow this lawlessness to destroy our communities any longer.
“President Biden must act,” he added.
Biden, notes the Austin American-Statesmen, began phasing out the MPPs shortly after taking office.
The Biden administration has broadly alleged that the Migrant Protection Protocols are inhumane, forcing tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to live in squalid conditions along the border as their cases are slowly processed.
Immigration advocates have similarly said that many asylum-seekers—many of whom fled gang-related violence in Central America—are exposed to criminal exploitation as they wait.
Prior to his election, Biden criticized the MPPs, saying Trump was the first president in American history who forced refugees to stay abroad while their claims are heard.
“This is the first president in the history of the United States of America that says anybody seeking asylum has to do it another country,” Biden said during the October presidential debates. “That’s never happened before in America.”
Nevertheless, Paxton is asking the courts to issue a nationwide injunction against the administration’s suspension of the MPPs.
In his lawsuit, Paxton says the Biden administration has violated the formalities of the U.S. Administrative Procedure Act—a Trump-era agreement which compels the federal government to seek consent from Texas before and other border states before drastically overhauling extant immigrant policy.
“Dangerous criminals are taking advantage of the lapse in law enforcement and it’s resulting in human trafficking, smuggling, a plethora of violent crimes, and a massive, unprecedented burden on state and federal programs for which taxpayers must foot the bill,” Paxton said.