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Texas Sues Biden Administration Over Attempt to Codify ‘Catch and Release’ at Southern Border

Guillermo Arias, Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
Guillermo Arias, Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has once again sued President Joe Biden’s administration, this time over Biden’s attempt to codify the “catch and release” policy into federal law.

In March, the Biden administration announced a regulation that would restructure the asylum process and put decision-making in the hands of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security rather than federal immigration judges. Biden’s rule would let asylum officers determine whether to grant migrants asylum claims at the southern border.

This new process would allow for the mass entry of migrants into the United States while their asylum claims are pending.

As the Texas Tribune explained:

Under the new process, asylum-seekers could be released into the country pending the outcome of their cases instead of being held in custody. If a migrant apprehended at the border claims they could be persecuted or tortured if they return to their home country, the asylum officer would decide if they have a credible claim. If the officer declines an asylum claim, migrants could appeal to an immigration judge.

With the help of the America First Legal Foundation, Paxton argued the rule is an unconstitutional change in immigration law.

In a brief filed Monday, the plaintiffs said:

The immigration laws do not give the Defendants permission to give themselves permission to change the immigration laws to their liking—Congress has put laws into place that the Defendants must follow, and those laws do not permit wholesale usurpation of powers that must be exercised by constitutionally appointed officers. The Defendants’ Interim Final Rule permitting them to grant asylum at their leisure is illegal, and the Court should enjoin them from implementing it.

America First Legal President Stephen Miller said the rule is designed to provide “green cards for millions of newly-arriving illegal aliens.” Miller said:

We are thrilled to be partnering with the State of Texas as outside counsel in filing this emergency motion to block implementation of Biden’s open borders rules. This rule is designed to serve one goal: green cards for millions of newly-arriving illegal aliens. America First Legal will fight with the great Ken Paxton to defeat this lawless open borders monstrosity.

Biden’s move to allow more migrants into the country comes as recent data shows that he has released more than 950,000 migrants into the border since his inauguration in January 2021.

The case is Texas v. Mayorkas, No. 2:22-cv-00094 in the United States District Court Northern District of Texas

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