Texas and an America First nonprofit linked to immigration hawk Stephen Miller filed a lawsuit this week to block the Biden administration’s catch-and-release border policy, claiming it allowed coronavirus-infected illegal immigrants to enter the country and spread the virus.
In documents filed in federal court, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Miller’s America First Legal claims that the policy was harmful to the health of Texas and the U.S. and would cost taxpayers millions of dollars to clean up, Washington Examiner reported.
“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.
In dispute is the decision by the Biden administration to halt the Trump government’s policy of removing illegal immigrants during the height of the coronavirus epidemic in February. Worried that illegal immigrants would transmit the virus, Trump’s administration invoked Title 42 to prevent them from entering the country. Biden put an end to that by releasing families and unaccompanied minors into dozens of big cities.
Texas and America First Legal argued that the new policy would be costly and that stopping it would cause no “harm” to the government.
“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.”
Biden has allowed hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to enter the country since taking office, signaling that the border is open. His policies were the polar opposite of Trump and Miller’s, which witnessed a dramatic drop in illegal border crossings.
According to CBP data, more than 180,000 illegal aliens were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in May. Critics and former authorities point out that this statistic reflects the most interactions in decades.
According to Miller, Biden’s catch-and-release policy went against the administration’s focus on combatting the virus, mask-wearing, and requiring individuals to be vaccinated to preserve the country’s health.
“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.
“In the other words, at the same time the Administration is urging Americans to get vaccinated, they are resettling thousands of unvaccinated illegal aliens into their cities, towns, and schools–and placing the cost and burden of all healthcare services for these new arrivals in the taxpayer tab,” Miller said in a statement about the lawsuit.
If unvaccinated illegal aliens are permitted to enter U.S. communities, Miller claims, the percentage of “that community’s population that has received a vaccine” will decrease. As a result, it will be moved “further away from the herd immunity threshold,” Miller said.