EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The state of Texas has filed a lawsuit to stop the rescission of Title 42, a federal mandate that has allowed border agents to expel newly arrived migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Biden administration says the order is ending on May 23.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. According to a news release issued on Friday, Paxton said this was his 10th “border crisis lawsuit.”
It says he “is challenging Biden’s unilateral rescission of Title 42, the highly effective Trump-era program that empowers federal authorities to rapidly expel aliens at the Texas-Mexico border.”
Only April 1, President Joe Biden announced his plan to rescind Title 42 on May 23. Paxton’s lawsuit seeks an emergency motion to freeze the president’s termination order.
“The Biden Administration has made one disastrous border decision after another, and I’ve sued him at every turn,” Paxton said. “But his new plan to rescind Title 42 is the most consequential yet. Without Title 42, hundreds of thousands more illegal aliens will flood Texas every month—even more than have been pouring over in the past year.”
According to the lawsuit, the Biden administration failed to “notify interested parties of their proposed actions and address comments from those interested parties before promulgating rules.”
The lawsuit also argues that the Biden administration still has in place several coronavirus-related orders requiring either proof of vaccination, negative test or mask, and therefore cannot rescind a policy meant to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into the United States.
When Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced plans to terminate Title 42, he said, “Title 42 is not an immigration authority, but rather a public health authority used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect against the spread of communicable disease. Title 42 remains in place until May 23 and, until then, DHS will continue to expel single adults and families encountered at the Southwest border.”
Paxton argues that rescinding Title 42 will “open the floodgates to hundreds of thousands more illegal aliens.”
But Mayorkas, in his April 1 statement, said, “We have put in place a comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy to manage any potential increase in the number of migrants encountered at our border. We are increasing our capacity to process new arrivals, evaluate asylum requests, and quickly remove those who do not qualify for protection. We will increase personnel and resources as needed and have already redeployed more than 600 law enforcement officers to the border. We are referring smugglers and certain border crossers for criminal prosecution. Over the next two months, we are putting in place additional, appropriate COVID-19 protocols, including ramping up our vaccination program.”