Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed his eleventh immigration-related suit against the Biden administration on Thursday.
The suit is directed at a proposed policy that would allow asylum officers, not just immigration judges, to rule on the validity of asylum claims made by immigrants seeking to stay in the U.S.
The suit alleges that the Department of Homeland Security’s new rule for processing asylum-seekers “upends the entire adjudicatory system to the benefit of aliens.”
“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.”
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Amarillo overseen by Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, also argues that the new plan violates the Constitution’s appointments clause because asylum officers are members of the general civil services and are not appointed like judges are.
“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 written statement.
Federal officials expect the number of crossings to grow this summer, as the Biden administration rolls back a pandemic health order put in place by former President Donald Trump that’s been used to immediately expel nearly 2 million immigrants at the border. It’s not yet known whether the courts will allow the rollback; a federal judge earlier this week temporarily blocked the administration from moving forward on its plans to end the policy, known as Title 42.
Administration officials have said the policy change is meant to address court backlogs that have caused the asylum review process to take six to eight years on average, and they expect it will reduce that time to about two months.
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