Liberals and conservatives are suing to remove Biden’s new border policy — for very different reasons

Immigration advocates said President Biden’s new border policy is a draconian restriction that would “effectively end asylum” for most immigrants. However, Republican officials in Texas said the opposite was true, warning that the regulation would trigger an “influx of refugees” with neutral refugee claims.

The two groups were citing the same Biden administration policy in separate lawsuits, but their reasons for challenging it were quite different.

Earlier this month, Biden was impeached. Principles of Administration Disqualifies immigrants from asylum if they have not first sought asylum in a third country before reaching the US southern border. Those who cross the border illegally and fail to prove they qualify for an exemption from the rule face immediate deportation and up to five years of deportation from the United States.

Governance is the core of administration. A wider effort to reduce illegal border crossings, which have recently reached record levels; It penalizes those who enter the country without authorization, while expanding the opportunities for immigrants to come to the U.S. legally.

In their lawsuit earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other advocacy groups said that Mr. Biden’s rule, just like the two Trump administrations. Asylum restrictions Blocked in federal court, it violates laws Congress passed in 1980 to protect refugees fleeing persecution.

I A separate case In a filing this week, Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton also argued that the regulation was unconstitutional, but he focused his criticism on the provision that directs immigrants to wait in Mexico until That they can’t get an appointment through a phone app to enter the U.S. at a government border. Crossings People who enter the U.S. with one of the approximately 1,000 appointments per day are not ineligible for asylum.

The strange bedfellow lawsuits, both of which seek to stop the asylum ban altogether, could affect Mr. Biden’s strategy for managing immigration at America’s southern border, where migrants are more numerous than ever. More and more countries are coming. Mass migration in Latin America and the Caribbean Federal judges in Oakland and Del Rio, Texas, could rule on the cases later this year, setting off a high-stakes legal battle that could reach the Supreme Court. can

Immigrant crossings at the southern border increased with the expiration of the Title 42 policy.
Asylum seekers in the U.S., stranded in a makeshift camp between the U.S.-Mexico border wall, look over the border wall on May 13, 2023 in San Diego, California.

/ Getty Images

But beyond their legal and practical implications, the lawsuits illustrate the thorny political position the Biden administration finds itself on border policy.

Progressive advocates say Mr. Biden is too tough on immigrants and relies too heavily on the deterrence policies adopted by former President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Republicans continue to argue that the current immigration crisis is one of Mr. Biden’s own making, and accuse his administration of lax border enforcement.

The lawsuits also highlight the dangers of federal immigration policymaking amid decades of congressional inaction on the issue. Like his predecessors, Mr. Biden has used his executive authority broadly to implement major immigration policies along the southern border and in the interior. And like the unilateral changes of his predecessors, Mr. Biden’s policy agenda has been challenged, and sometimes derailed, by litigation.

Theresa Cardinal Brown, a former U.S. immigration official under former President George W. Bush, said, “Before you get to the point where another administration comes in, a court can strike down a rule or policy with an injunction. And it has to be changed immediately.” Bush and Barack Obama. “It has a knock-on effect on policy.”

For example, a Texas lawsuit blocked the Obama administration from granting work permits and deportation protections to unauthorized immigrants whose children were US citizens or permanent US residents. The Trump administration’s myriad asylum restrictions, immigrant family separation policy and efforts to curtail legal immigration have faced dozens of successful legal challenges from Democratic-led states and advocacy groups such as the ACLU.

This trend has continued, if not accelerated, under Mr. Biden. During his first two years in office, Texas and other Republican-led states have mostly asked judges to end the 100-day ban on deportations, limit arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and end the Trump-era policy. Convinced? “Stay in Mexico” that forced asylum seekers to wait for their court dates outside the US

Republican state officials extended the repeal of the Title 42 public health order — which allowed border agents to remove asylum seekers without vetting them — for a year. The pandemic’s reign ended only this month as legal challenges to the expiration of the COVID-19 national emergency were eliminated.

Immigrants wait to cross the banks of the Rio Grande to the United States, as seen on May 9, 2023, in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Alfredo Estrella/AFP via Getty Images

Most recently, a federal judge granted Florida’s request to block the Biden administration’s immigrant release policy that was intended to reduce overcrowding inside Border Patrol facilities. Another federal judge in Texas is also expected to rule soon on a request from Republican-led states to ask the Biden administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for 600,000 immigrant “Dreamers.” Be forced to.

Other matters remain unresolved, including a bid to close Texas. Popular programs That allows up to 30,000 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans to enter the country legally each month with US financial aid.

Cardinal Brown, now a senior adviser at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said Congress’s inability or reluctance to change immigration law in any significant way since the 1990s has left states and groups that disagree with the administration in power. There are no, has forced policy disputes in the federal court. system

“The main reason we are looking at these particular cases from states is political and policy disagreement,” Cardinal Brown said. “The judiciary shouldn’t be a policy-making body, and we’re basically asking it to make policy.”

In a recent briefing, the Department of Homeland Security’s top immigration and border policy official, Blas Noz Neto, said the cases “clearly show how fundamentally broken our immigration system is.”

The administration, Núñez Neto argued, is implementing “innovative” administrative measures to curb illegal border entries, which fell sharply after Title 42 expired on May 11. The lawsuits prevail, Nunez-Nato pointed out to Congress.

“At the end of the day, we’re just making it clear that there is no lasting solution that doesn’t involve the US Congress,” he said.

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