Texas Sues Biden for Exempting Border Crossers from Coronavirus Rules

Migrants mostly form Central America wait in line to cross the border at the Gateway International Bridge into the US from Matamoros, Mexico to Brownsville, Texas, on March 15, 2021. - It's the new normal for migrant families under President Joe Biden, after the harsh "zero tolerance" approach of Donald …
CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s administration, alleging that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has exempted border crossers from emergency Chinese coronavirus public health regulations, spurring a public health crisis at the United States-Mexico border.

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, claims that the Biden administration has increasingly refused to enforce the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Title 42 authority that requires federal immigration officials to quickly return border crossers to their native countries on the basis that they pose a public health risk to American citizens.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the Biden administration effectively spurred a massive wave of illegal immigration and created a public health crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border by failing to use Title 42 to return border crossers to their native countries.

The lawsuit states:

CBP encountered a total of 4,300 members of family units in November 2020, 4,404 in December 2020, 7,296 in January 2021, 19,587 in February 2021, and 53,623 in March 2021. Of those total encounters, 3,639 were processed using Title 42 in November (roughly 85%), 3,332 in December (roughly 76%), 4,546 in January (roughly 62%), 9,223 in February (roughly 47%), and 17,345 in March (roughly 32%).

Put differently, encounters of members of family units have spiked by roughly 1,147% between November 2020 and March 2021, yet the use of Title 42 for those aliens encountered has plummeted as a percentage of total encounters.

The eight-count lawsuit accuses Biden and DHS of multiple violations of the Administrative Procedure Act (INA), the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), and the Take Care Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The INA’s claim is that border crossers must remain detained if they pose a significant public health risk. Instead, the Biden administration reinstituted the Catch and Release program that has allowed tens of thousands of border crossers into the U.S. interior.

The lawsuit continues:

DHS’s policies and statistics prove that DHS does not meaningfully enforce the plain requirements of the INA to detain any such aliens for a “sufficient time to enable the immigration officers and medical officers to subject such aliens to observation and an examination sufficient to determine whether or not” they could be carrying a communicable disease of public health significance, including COVID-19.

Defendants’ failure to use Title 42, and their failure to follow the INA’s requirements regarding the detention of aliens who potentially have communicable diseases of public health significance, results in the release of aliens into Texas — threatening the health and safety of all Texans.

More than a week after Biden took office, the CDC exempted Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from Title 42 authority. The lawsuit states that after that action, the number of UACs arriving at the southern border has ballooned.

“Unsurprisingly, the number of UAC encountered at the southwest border increased to 9,431 in February (roughly a 105% increase over the number encountered in November),” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit is asking a federal judge to prevent Biden’s DHS from exempting border crossers to coronavirus guidelines, such as enforcing Title 42 across the board at the southern border, quarantining migrants for at least 14 days, and testing migrants whom the administration does release into the U.S. interior.

As Breitbart News exclusively reported last month, top DHS officials have increasingly urged behind the scenes to phase out Title 42 authority, which House Republicans have said is the only border control left keeping a lid on an even larger surge of illegal immigration.

The state of Texas is being jointly represented by Paxton’s office, by lawyers from the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), and by Gene Hamilton, formerly a counselor to the attorney general at the Department of Justice and later a senior official at DHS, who now works with former Trump White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller at the America First Legal Foundation.

House Democrats, regardless, have been lobbying Biden to throw out Title 42 authority.

The case is Texas v. the United States, No. 4:21-cv-00579 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here

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