AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced another lawsuit against the Biden Administration, this one focused on the sunset of Title 42. This is the 10th lawsuit related to border issues Paxton has launched against the federal government.
Title 42, put in place by the Trump Administration, is an emergency rule that allows U.S. immigration authorities to expel migrants and asylum seekers because of public health concerns related to COVID-19. The rule was initially met with anger by advocates who said it was politically motivated rather than a valid health precaution. President Joe Biden said it would expire on May 23.
Along with the lawsuit, Paxton submitted an emergency motion to freeze Biden’s termination order.
“The Biden Administration has made one disastrous border decision after another, and I’ve sued him at every turn,” Paxton said in a statement released Friday. “But his new plan to rescind Title 42 is the most consequential yet.”
In the lawsuit, Paxton claims that agencies must justify their actions with reason and notify interested parties of their proposed actions and address comments from those interested parties before promulgating rules, to which the Biden Administration did neither.
When Biden first announced plans to sunset the rule, he said it was because federal health experts deemed it no longer necessary. The lawsuit claims that the reason to end the rule contradicts other recent federal COVID-19 decisions such as its extension of mask mandates on public transportation as well as vaccination orders.
Federal officials have also acknowledged that as many as 18,000 immigrants could come to the border per day once the rule is lifted.
“Biden cannot make such sweeping decisions without going through the process required by federal law,” Paxton said. “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.”
Paxton is the latest Texas GOP official to make a move on the decision.
In April, Gov. Greg Abbott announced a series of border security measures in response to Biden’s announcement.
That included more strict commercial truck inspections at the Texas-Mexico border, a move that was met with disastrous setbacks as vehicles were forced to wait hours on international bridges. The 10 day disruption led food to spoil and cost the Texas economy $470.3 million, according to analysis by economists at The Perryman Group. The U.S. lost nearly $9 billion in gross domestic product, they said.
Abbott ultimately relented after making deals with the governors of each of the four Mexican states that border Texas. The signed declarations state that the Mexican governors will do more to ensure stronger border security and prevent migrants from crossing into the United States.
“Mexico is a top trading partner not only for Texas, but also for the United States. Inefficiencies in the flow of imports and exports across the border leads to notable economic losses,” the Perryman Group report said.