Texas AG Paxton Sues Biden WH Over Relaxed Asylum Plan at Southern Border

Texas AG Paxton Sues Biden WH Over Relaxed Asylum Plan at Southern Border Texas AG Paxton Sues Biden WH Over Relaxed Asylum Plan at Southern Border Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP, File)

By Jay Clemons | Thursday, 28 April 2022 03:47 PM

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed his 11th immigration-related lawsuit against the Biden administration Thursday, with the latest seeking to block a plan that would empower asylum officers to rule on migrants' asylum claims at the U.S-Mexico border.

The new initiative, which is slated to take effect on May 31, bypasses immigration judges and effectively "upends the entire adjudicatory system to the benefit of aliens," the lawsuit reads.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration finalized plans to overhaul the process for migrants seeking asylum. The new system could potentially reduce the asylum seekers' average wait time, case-wise, from five years to six months.

However, certain protocols might be relaxed or bypassed altogether, potentially opening up new problems at the southern border.

"I protested the proposed version of these rules back in October 2021, and, unsurprisingly, [President Joe] Biden found a way to make it worse, so I'm suing," Paxton said in a written statement.

Under the Biden proposal, asylum seekers could be released into the United States, pending the outcome of their case, instead of being held in custody.

For example, if a migrant apprehended at the border claimed they would be persecuted or tortured upon re-entering their home country, the asylum officer could make the initial determination on the claim's credibility.

Paxton's lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Amarillo, Texas, and overseen by Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk.

The suit also asserts the Biden administration's new immigration plan violates the U.S. Constitution's Appointments clause, clarifying that asylum officers are members of the general civil services — and not legally appointed judges.

According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, immigration judges had nearly 1.7 million pending cases as of March 2022 — the largest backlog in U.S. history.

"The current system for handling asylum claims at our borders has long needed repair," said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas back in March.

"Through this [executive order] 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."

Texas has filed nearly two dozen lawsuits against the Biden White House in federal courts. Trump-appointed judges have reportedly heard 16 of the cases and ruled in favor of Texas seven times.

Last November, Paxton and a consortium of supporting states sued the Biden administration for its "illegal and unconstitutional" vaccine mandate imposed on private businesses.

Original Article