Over twenty states, championed by Texas and Montana, filed a lawsuit against Biden and his administration on March 17, 2021. The lawsuit said the permit revocation was a regulation of interstate and international commerce and, therefore, subject to congressional not executive authority.
States not directly affected by the proposed path for the pipeline said its rejection would also have a negative ripple effect on the economy of non-pipeline states.
The states includes Montana, Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missisippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Meanwhile Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration Tuesday in an attempt to restore a policy put in place by former President Donald Trump that forced migrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed.
Paxton and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt argue in the suit that the Biden administration’s move to suspend the “remain in Mexico” policy was an “arbitrary and capricious decision.” The attorneys general are asking the court to reinstate the enforcement of the program nationwide and to award Texas and Missouri “the costs of this action and reasonable attorney’s fees.”
The Trump administration first implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols program in January 2019 in what it described as an effort to “allow more resources to be dedicated to individuals who legitimately qualify for asylum,” according to then-U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The policy required asylum seekers who passed through Mexico on their way to the U.S. to stay in Mexico while their claims were processed in U.S. courts. Previously, migrants could wait inside the U.S. for a court decision, which would often take months or years.
Shortly after Biden took office, DHS announced in a memo that “the department will cease adding individuals into the [Migrant Protection Protocols] program,” though the agency at the time did not provide an immediate plan to allow migrants to enter the country. Department of Homeland Security officials also announced a 100-day moratorium on deportations, though a federal judge ultimately struck down that order after Paxton filed a separate lawsuit.
In February, the Biden administration began allowing asylum seekers enrolled in the program to cross into the country. Republicans have pointed to the end of the program as a reason for an influx of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in recent weeks.
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