1 of 2 | Texas has sued the Biden administration, saying its new border rule is inviting illegal border crossings. Photo by Ariana Dreshler/UPI | License Photo
May 24 (UPI) -- The State of Texas is suing the Biden administration over its newly enacted immigration rule on accusations it encourages migrants and asylum seekers to illegally enter the country.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday asking the court to throw out the new rule on the grounds that its requirement for migrants and asylum seekers to use a smart phone application to schedule their arrival at a port of entry is inviting unlawful border crossings.
The rule at center of the lawsuit is called the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways, which is one of several moves the Biden administration has enacted in recent months in preparation for the expiration of Title 42, which was a COVID-19-era health measure instituted in March of 2020 that has been used to rapidly expel more than 2.8 million people prior to its end midnight May 11.
The Circumvention of Lawful Pathways went into force as Title 42 ended, allowing the United States to presume migrants attempting to enter the country ineligible if they do not use lawful pathways of entry.
The Biden administration argued the law will reduce the number of illegal border crossings due to stiffer penalties for doing so, while lessening the demand on border services by expanding legal pathways, including requiring those attempting to enter the country to schedule their arrival at a port of entry via the Customs and Border Protection One mobile app.
Texas in its lawsuit argues that federal law mandates that those who enter the country illegally should be expelled, except for under rare circumstances. But since the app enables noncitizens without appropriate documents for admission to schedule arrival appointments, the rule is "proactively inviting and encouraging aliens to cross the border unlawfully."
As a border state, Texas will incur costs for public education, healthcare, law enforcement and incarceration as well as for other public services, it said.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a statement accused President Joe Biden of purposely concocting the smartphone app as a way to pre-approve migrants and asylum seekers who are not legally entitled to enter the country.
"Joe Biden, [Secretary of Homeland Security] Alejandro Mayorkas and the entire Biden administration have prioritized creating and protecting new ways for illegal aliens to stream into the country, not matter the cost or consequence to struggling American citizens," Paxton said.
The lawsuit comes as Texas is in a protracted feud with the Biden administration over its immigration policies and as the new rule has come under criticism from hundreds human rights and immigration advocates who describe it as an asylum ban.