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Texas sues Biden administration in effort to reinstate Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy

A US Border Patrol agent in the Rio Grande Valley looks over migrant families.
CNN
A US Border Patrol agent in the Rio Grande Valley looks over migrant families.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration Tuesday in an attempt to restore a policy put in place by former President Donald Trump that forced migrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed.

Paxton and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt argue in the suit that the Biden administration’s move to suspend the so-called “remain in Mexico” policy was an “arbitrary and capricious decision.” The attorneys general are asking the court to reinstate the enforcement of the program nationwide and to award Texas and Missouri “the costs of this action and reasonable attorney’s fees.”

The Trump administration first implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols program in January 2019 in what it described as an effort to “allow more resources to be dedicated to individuals who legitimately qualify for asylum,” according to then-U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The policy required asylum seekerswho passed through Mexico on their way to the U.S. to stay in Mexico while their claims were processed in U.S. courts. Previously, migrants could wait inside the U.S. for a court decision, which would often take months or years.

More than 70,000 migrants who were enrolled in the MPP program were sent back to Mexico. Many were forced to live in sometimes dangerous and unsanitary migrant camps.

Shortly after Biden took office, DHS announced in a memo that “the department will cease adding individuals into the [Migrant Protection Protocols] program,” though the agency at the time did not provide an immediate plan to allow migrants to enter the country. Department of Homeland Security officials also announced a 100-day moratorium on deportations, though a federal judge ultimately struck down that order after Paxton filed a separate lawsuit.

In February, the Biden administration began allowing asylum seekers enrolled in the program to cross into the country. Republicans have pointed to the end of the program as a reason for an influx of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in recent weeks.

A DHS spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The suit is the latest in a string of legal challenges Paxton has brought against the Biden administration since January. In addition to the deportation moratorium, Paxton has also sued Biden over his agency’s new procedures that cut back on deportations of undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of crimes, Biden’s decision to rescind a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and new restrictions on oil drilling on federal lands.

News / Politics / Texas / Texas Politics / Top Stories

Texas Tribune

Comments

9 Comments

    1. When you don’t have a valid argument, which is all the time, you scream “Racist”. We get it. All you liberals have is name calling because you have no substance or facts. This is not an issue of race. It’s an iasue of national security and financial sustainability. These trillions on trillions on trillions of dollars that this administration is handing out will ruin this country. The debt service allow is going to be in the trillions and will render us helpless. We cannot sustain these illegals coming over here financially. I dont care if they are white people from Norway. We can’t take them. Its not a racial issue.

          1. Biden is though. We are currently on the edge of complete destruction because of this madman.

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