A group of fourteen attorneys general – led by Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri – filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Biden administration for changing immigration policies established by Congress related to the asylum process.
Attorneys general from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Carolina joined the lawsuit.
The attorneys general are asking the court to halt an administrative rule change that will transform the asylum and parole process, facilitating the release of more illegal immigrants.
The rule change “largely removes federal immigration judges from the asylum review process and instead gives asylum officers within the Department of Homeland Security unprecedented authority to grant asylum to migrants outright,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said. “The new rule not only violates federal laws and bypasses Congress but also drastically erodes asylum integrity safeguards.”
The lawsuit names Attorney General Merrick Garland, Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review David Neil, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Troy Miller, Acting Director of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Tae Johnson, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ur Jaddou, Chief of U.S. Border Patrol Raul Ortiz and their respective agencies as defendants.
The attorneys general argue the changes violate the Immigration and Nationality Act, Homeland Security Act, Secure Fence Act of 2006 and the Administrative Procedure Act, Just the News reports.
If the administration’s repeal of Title 42 enforcement isn’t halted by the courts, the new asylum changes would go into effect eight days later, the attorneys general point out, causing “a massive increase in illegal immigration and non-meritorious asylum claims.” The timing would cause “an exponential increase in illegal border crossings,” they argue, which will “stack a crisis upon a crisis.”