Texas filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday that challenges a new rule on DHS procedures. The rule is meant to streamline the process of reviewing asylum claims. Instead of immigration judges, the new rule allows US Citizenship and Immigration Services employees to review the claims.
There is a huge backlog of asylum claims because of the Biden border crisis. The goal is to make the asylum process complete in several months instead of several years. There are currently only about 500 immigration court judges who handle asylum claims. The backlog of cases has exceeded 1.7 million cases.
As I wrote in March when this decision was made by DHS Secretary Mayorkas, the new rule allows the initial decision-making to shift from immigration judges to asylum officers. Just like the number of immigration judges, the number of asylum officers has not been increased by the Biden administration to keep up with the flood of illegal migrants crossing the southern border.
The purpose of the new rule is to shorten the time between when a migrant crosses the border and the ruling issued on whether or not they should be deported. If an asylum officer allows the migrant to remain in the United States, he or she can bypass the immigration courts. If an asylum officer decides that a migrant isn’t eligible for asylum, the case goes to an immigration judge. The judge has 90 days to make a determination on whether or not the immigrant should be deported.
In the suit filed by Texas, it claims that DHS violated the Administrative Procedures Act. The new rule won’t take control of the backlog facing immigration judges and asylum officers, it will encourage more migrants to rush to the southern border with an easier process ahead of them. Instead of making it easier, just secure the border.
“The Interim Rule transfers significant authority from immigration judges to asylum officers, grants those asylum officers significant additional authority, limits immigration-judge review to denials of applications, and upends the entire adjudicatory system to the benefit of aliens,” Texas writes in its suit .
Though asylum is a legal process, a statement from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the new rule would “make it easier for illegal aliens to enter the US and obtain asylum through false claims and less oversight.”
“It’s true that our immigration system is extremely backlogged. But the answer is to secure the border, not overwhelm it even more by enacting cheap, easy incentives for illegal aliens to get into the United States,” Paxton said.
Mayorkas claims DHS is building a better asylum system. Better for whom? It’s not better for border communities or taxpayers who are left on their own by Team Biden when waves of illegal migrants overwhelm Border Patrol agents and law enforcement on the ground. It provides an open invitation to migrants to come to the border because the process is being streamlined to increase the speed of processing claims. And, what about immigrants who come here through the proper legal process? How is it fair to them when illegals jump the line and receive preferential treatment?
“Through this rule, we are building a more functional and sensitive asylum system to ensure that individuals who are eligible will receive protection more swiftly, while those who are not eligible will be rapidly removed. We will process claims for asylum or other humanitarian protection in a timely and efficient manner while ensuring due process,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement at the time.
I’ve written many times that this is a deliberate decision by the Biden administration to not enforce immigration laws already on the books. They intend to allow as many illegal migrants into the country as possible, even though most of their asylum claims do not rise to the level required by law. They are not entitled to asylum simply because they want to come for a better job than they can find at home. If they wish to move to the United States for a more prosperous life, there is a legal process in place for that.
Biden and Mayorkas are guilty of dereliction of duty. Immigration is a federal responsibility. The administration continues to bus and fly migrants who have been apprehended at the border to other states making them border states, too. Taxpayers are on the hook to provide social services and assistance to them. The Biden border crisis is a humanitarian disaster.