| June 24, 2021
Texas and an America First group associated with immigration hawk Stephen Miller this week sued to stop the Biden administration’s catch-and-release border policy, claiming it was releasing coronavirus-infected illegal immigrants into the United States and spreading the virus.
In documents filed in federal court, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Miller’s America First Legal said the policy was dangerous to the health of Texas and the U.S. and would cost taxpayers millions of dollars to clean up.
“By allowing tens of thousands of people to flow across the border, the defendants have increased the public health and safety risk to Texas,” said the request for an injunction.
At issue is the Biden administration’s decision in February to suspend the Trump administration’s policy of returning illegal immigrants during the height of the coronavirus crisis. The Trump team, worried that illegal immigrants would spread the virus, used a provision, Title 42, to block their entry. Biden ended that and has instead released families and unaccompanied children into dozens of major cities.
Texas and America First Legal argued that the new policy will be expensive and would not cause any “harm” to the administration if stopped.
“In this case, the harm to Texas,” said the documents, “is both imminent and irreparable, and could be easily avoided by the defendants’ continuation of practices used prior to the February order. At stake for Texas is the health of the people of Texas. Conversely, there is no harm to the defendants from their resuming their operations as they were prior to the February order. Nor is there any legal harm to persons removed pursuant to those procedures, as such individuals are aliens who lack lawful status in the United States, and whose rights are not being violated.”
Since he took office, Biden has allowed in hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants and signaled that the border is open. His policy reversed those of Trump and Miller that saw a sharp decline in illegal crossings.
Miller said that Biden’s catch-and-release policy also violated the administration’s own focus on fighting the virus, mask-wearing, and demanding that people get vaccinated to protect the health of the U.S.
“This anarchistic catch-and-release policy plainly and facially violates the administration’s own public health guidelines, regulations, and directives. While Americans are still required to wear masks on planes and the CDC is still trying to shut down many aspects of daily life, the government is actively facilitating the entry of illegal aliens whose journey is defined by the radical absence of health protocols. The mass release of untested, unvaccinated, unvetted and unscreened border-crossers threatens the health of all Americans — and is explicitly contrary to the administration’s publicly stated goal of reopening through vaccination,” Miller said.