Friday, March 1, 2024

Texas AG Sues Biden Administration Over End of Title 42

'His goal is simple: get as many illegals in this country as fast as possible without any concern for the potential criminal or terrorist background of those crossing the border...'

(Bethany Blankley, The Center Square) Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed another lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration related to its border policies, this time challenging the looming end of Title 42, a public health authority that enables federal agents to quickly expel illegal immigrants during a public health emergency.

It is Paxton’s 10th lawsuit against the administration related to the border crisis and his 26th legal action taken against what he calls the president’s “lawless administration.”

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Victoria Division. Paxton also filed an emergency motion with the court to freeze the termination order of Title 42.

Title 42 has been in effect since March 2020, but the CDC announced it was terminating the authority on May 23.

“The Biden Administration has made one disastrous border decision after another, and I’ve sued him at every turn,” Paxton said. “But his new plan to rescind Title 42 is the most consequential yet. Without Title 42, hundreds of thousands more illegal aliens will flood Texas every month – even more than have been pouring over in the past year.

“His goal is simple: get as many illegals in this country as fast as possible without any concern for the potential criminal or terrorist background of those crossing the border. This is allowing the cartels to maximize their profits and their effectiveness.”

Paxton said the president can’t “make such sweeping decisions without going through the process required by federal law. He didn’t, so I’m suing. I’ll hold him accountable and do all I can to protect Texans.”

Texas filed its lawsuit separately from another lawsuit filed April 4 by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. Ten days, that lawsuit, Arizona v CDC, grew to 21 states as plaintiffs.

“What President Biden is doing by rescinding Title 42 is not humane; it is insane,” Brnovich said. “Biden is actively decriminalizing and incentivizing illegal immigration to bring in as many people as possible without any regard for the safety and well-being of Americans.”

Paxton’s lawsuit names defendants the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, Health and Human Services Department Secretary Xavier Becerra, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Tae Johnson, and their respective agencies.

The CDC said it was terminating Title 42 because of “an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19 (such as highly effective vaccines and therapeutics),” and because the CDC Director determined a Trump-era order “suspending the right to introduce migrants into the United States is no longer necessary.”

Instead, the CDC said that DHS would be implementing “appropriate COVID-19 mitigation protocols, such as scaling up a program to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to migrants and prepare for resumption of regular migration under Title 8.” Title 8, the federal guidance used to expel people unauthorized to be in the U.S., has been largely neutered by DHS Secretary Mayorkas’ policy directives.

Title 42 is considered to be the last measure in place holding back an unprecedented number of illegal immigrants from pouring into the U.S. after the Biden administration drastically altered immigration policies last year. Southern border encounters totaled roughly two million people from over 150 countries in Biden’s first year in office. Over the past year, many attorneys general have sued the Biden administration over his immigration policies, arguing they are unconstitutional and violate federal law.

With as many as 18,000 people expected to illegally enter the U.S. through the southern border every day once Title 42 is lifted, both Republican and Democratic legislators nationwide have called on the president to reverse course. Texas’ two U.S. senators and 20 members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, urged HHS Secretary Becerra and DHS Secretary Mayorkas to keep Title 42 in place.

Texas Congressman Vicente Gonzalez said the Biden administration didn’t include input from border communities or Democrats like himself who represent them when making the decision to terminate Title 42.

“While I remain disappointed in the Administration’s failure to include our community in these decisions and refusal to acknowledge the real-life impact on South Texans, their approach is nothing we haven’t seen before,” he said in a separate news release.

Until DHS “provides border communities and local CBP sectors with adequate resources and a plan,” he said, “we will once again be wholly unprepared to handle a surge in irregular migration at our Southern Border in a humane, safe, and orderly way.”

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