Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the Biden administration ending the Trump-era activation of the federal law known as Title 42 for pandemic safety and border security.
The suit is the Republican attorney general’s tenth against the administration related to U.S. border security and the 26th legal action he’s taken against what he calls President Biden’s “lawless administration.”
Former President Trump used Title 42 at the start of the pandemic to enables federal agents to quickly expel illegal immigrants during a public health emergency.
Paxton’s most recent lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Victoria Division. Paxton also filed an emergency motion with the court to freeze the termination order of Title 42.
Title 42 has been in effect since March 2020, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced it will terminating the authority on May 23.
“The Biden Administration has made one disastrous border decision after another, and I’ve sued [the president] at every turn,” Paxton said. “But his new plan to rescind Title 42 is the most consequential yet. 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.
He also said Biden’s goal is simply to “get as many illegals in this country as fast as possible without any concern for the potential criminal or terrorist background of those crossing the border. This is allowing the cartels to maximize their profits and their effectiveness.”
Paxton also said the president cannot “make such sweeping decisions” without going through the process required by federal law.
“He didn’t, so I’m suing,” Paxton said. “I’ll hold him accountable and do all I can to protect Texans.”
Texas filed its lawsuit separately from another lawsuit filed April 4 by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. In 10 days, that lawsuit, Arizona v. CDC, grew to 21 states as plaintiffs.
“What President Biden is doing by rescinding Title 42 is not humane; it is insane,” Brnovich said. “Biden is actively decriminalizing and incentivizing illegal immigration to bring in as many people as possible without any regard for the safety and well-being of Americans.”
Paxton’s lawsuit names as defendants Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky; Health and Human Services Department Secretary Xavier Becerra; Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas; Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Tae Johnson; and their respective agencies.
The CDC said it was terminating Title 42 because of the “increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19 (such as highly effective vaccines and therapeutics),” and because the deirector determined a Trump-era order “suspending the right to introduce migrants into the United States is no longer necessary.”
Instead, the CDC said that DHS would be implementing “appropriate COVID-19 mitigation protocols, such as scaling up a program to provide COVID vaccinations to migrants and prepare for resumption of regular migration under Title 8.”
Critics of ending Title 42 enforcement say such a move would result in an unprecedented number of illegal immigrants pouring into the U.S.
U.S. authorities have encounters at the southern border roughly 2 million people from over 150 countries in Biden’s first year in office.
As many as 18,000 people are expected to illegally enter the U.S. through the southern border every day once Title 42 is lifted, resulting in Republican and Democratic lawmakers calling on the administration to at least have a more thorough plan for the expected surge.