Texas files lawsuit against Biden administration over asylum rule

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24th May 2023 – (Texas) Texas has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over a newly-introduced asylum rule, which allows migrants to set up appointments at the U.S.-Mexico border via a phone app in order to seek asylum in the United States. The lawsuit argues that the app, known as CBP One, encourages illegal immigration and places an undue financial burden on the state.

In a news release, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton accused the Biden administration of deliberately conceiving the phone app with the goal of illegally pre-approving more foreign aliens to enter the country and go where they please once they arrive. The state further argued that the app doesn’t verify whether migrants seeking appointments would qualify for entering the United States, essentially encouraging people to come to the country even though they don’t have a legal basis to stay.

The Biden administration has been trying to build a more orderly asylum process, with the CBP One app being the core of the plan. However, the app has been criticized for technological and procedural problems since it was rolled out in January.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Texas, seeks to prevent the Biden administration from using the app and to declare the asylum rule invalid. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been vocal in his criticism of President Biden’s immigration policies and has vowed to take legal action to protect the state.

The state argues that the influx of asylum seekers places an undue financialburden on Texas, particularly in areas like healthcare and education. The lawsuit states that the state has already spent billions of dollars in taxpayer funds to address the impact of illegal immigration, including the cost of providing healthcare, education, and law enforcement services to undocumented immigrants.

According to the lawsuit, the Biden administration’s decision to implement the asylum rule without proper verification procedures will lead to an increase in the number of migrants seeking asylum in the United States, including those who do not have a legitimate claim. This, in turn, will further strain the resources of the state and its communities.

The CBP One app was designed to streamline the asylum process by allowing migrants to set up appointments and receive notifications about their status. However, the app has faced criticism for technical glitches, delays, and other issues that have prevented many migrants from accessing the asylum process.

The lawsuit argues that the app’s flaws are not just technical but also procedural. It claims that the app’s design allows migrants to bypass important legal processes that are necessary to ensure that only those with legitimate claims are granted asylum.

The lawsuit further claims that the Biden administration’s decision to implement the asylum rule without proper safeguards violates federal law and is an abuse of executive authority. It cites several provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which require the government to conduct thorough background checks and establish clear eligibility criteria for asylum seekers.

The lawsuit also argues that the Biden administration’s policy runs counter to the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the case of United States v.Texas, which upheld the government’s authority to deny entry to non-citizens who pose a potential threat to national security or public safety.

The Biden administration has defended the asylum rule, arguing that it is necessary to provide a more humane and orderly process for asylum seekers. The administration has also highlighted the fact that the app is just one part of a broader effort to reform the immigration system and address the root causes of migration from Central America.

Officials have acknowledged that the app has experienced some problems but have emphasized that these are being addressed through ongoing improvements to the system. They have also pointed out that the app is just one tool in a larger effort to improve the asylum process and that it is not intended to replace other important legal procedures.

The administration has also emphasised that the asylum system is a vital part of America’s legacy as a nation of immigrants and that it is committed to ensuring that those who have a legitimate claim to asylum are able to access the process in a fair and timely manner.