Texas Attorney General Sues White House Over Immigration Policy
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the White House to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy following the Biden Administration’s failure to uphold a district court order to do so. The order was backed by the Supreme Court in August.
“It looks like to us they’re just stalling,” says Paxton. “I think they’re just trying to keep ignoring federal law, keep ignoring the Supreme Court ruling. The government doesn’t care about federal law; clearly, we’ve already established that. Now, they don’t care about all the orders from the courts, including the Supreme Court.”
Also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the “Remain in Mexico” program forced non-Mexican refugees seeking to enter the United States to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims were processed.
The policy – which was successful in sending roughly 70,000 refugees back to Mexico – was designed to ease pressure on US border patrol officials and facilities, decrease the number of illegal border crossings, and speed up the processing of asylum requests.
Critics argued the policy was unfair, as migrants often had to wait in dangerous areas of Mexico.
“The [MPP] essentially meant that any asylum-seekers who arrived at the US-Mexico border would not be processed through normal channels but would be forced to remain in Mexico where many faced conditions of violence and kidnapping,” argues Austin Kocher, a lead researcher at Syracuse University’s nonprofit for tracking immigration cases.
Kocher may be correct, but let’s consider the alternative:
President Joe Biden declared an end to the MPP on his first day in office. Since then, border apprehensions have skyrocketed to reach more than 1 million (and that’s based only on numbers available through June). This exorbitant figure is more than twice the number of apprehensions made last year and is far higher than the annual total for 2019 – a year when the situation became so dire that Trump declared a national emergency.
And it’s not just people that are coming into the United States.
Since Biden’s inauguration, the Texas Department of Public Safety has seized 95 pounds of fentanyl (an extremely dangerous synthetic opioid) compared to just 11 pounds during the entirety of 2020. Mexican cartels are largely responsible for the increase.
In March, as migrant crossings continued to overwhelm border patrol agents, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) declared a crisis and announced Operation Lone Star – a historic effort to secure the border without assistance from the Biden Administration.
Operation Lone Star involves thousands of state troopers and National Guard soldiers who have been dispatched to assist border patrol agents, a $1.8 billion investment in border security, and plans to resume construction of Trump’s border wall.
“It is clear that Biden’s open-border policies are unleashing deadly consequences right here in the Dallas-Forth Worth area,” complains Abbott.
Earlier this year, Texas and Missouri went to federal court in Texas to challenge President Biden’s decision to unilaterally declare an end to the MPP; both states argued that his decision represented a violation of federal immigration law and would impose unfair costs on the states. A federal district judge agreed with Texas and Missouri and ordered the Biden Administration to reinstate the MPP by August 21st, 2021. When the 5th Circuit Court declined to put the order on hold to give the government time to appeal, Biden Administration officials took the case to the Supreme Court.
The Biden Administration’s plea for time was rejected by the Supreme Court on August 24th, meaning the government must take action to reinstate the MPP while the case proceeds.
Paxton’s lawsuit accuses the Biden Administration of ignoring that order.
“What we want is deadlines, we want some type of deadline for them to take action sooner rather than later. We won this about a month ago,” argues Paxton. “Hey, Mr. President, you have to follow federal law someday. They’re never going to follow federal law, it looks like. They’re going to keep stalling until they are forced by some deadline to act. And maybe they need some type of consequences.”