Texas Sues Biden Administration For Ending ‘Remain In Mexico’ Policy

About 20,000 would-be asylum-seekers can now wait out the asylum process in the U.S., which Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argues puts undue financial burden on Texas.

By Jill Ament & Caroline CovingtonApril 14, 2021 11:34 am, , ,

Texas has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for changes to an immigration policy put in place under the Trump administration.

Migrants at the Matamoros camp waiting in line for a meal in March of 2020. Véronica G. Cárdenas for TPR

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed suit in federal court on Tuesday, claiming that the Biden administration’s ending of the so-called remain in Mexico policy, formally known as Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, put undue financial strain and other burdens on Texas where many migrants end up crossing into the United States. Biden ended the policy on his first day in office. Now, about 20,000 asylum-seekers can wait out the asylum process in the United States. That’s out of about 70,000 people who were originally enrolled in the remain in Mexico program.

Mallory Falk, immigration reporter for KERA News, told Texas Standard that while Paxton claims ending the policy has also led to more crime in Texas, the Biden administration found the policy had exposed asylum-seekers to dangers on the other side of the border.

“The policy came under criticism from the start for requiring migrants to wait in Mexico, often in border cities where they were the targets of violence, many times in unsanitary living conditions, in crowded shelters or tent camps and far from legal counsel,” Falk said.

The majority of migrants and asylum-seekers are still turned away at the southern border because another Trump-era policy, Title 42, which was put in place during the pandemic as a public health measure. The government is now making exceptions mainly for unaccompanied young migrants and some families.

Falk says the fate of Paxton’s suit is unclear, but he has been successful before. He sued the Biden administration earlier this year for attempting to put a moratorium on deportations, and won.

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