Texas sues Biden administration to reinstate Remain-in-Mexico policy at the border

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Texas Attorney Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration today in an effort to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols program. Commonly known as the Remain-in-Mexico initiative, the policy was implemented during the Trump administration in 2019 to ease the burdens that overcrowding at the border brought to personnel there. Joe Biden quickly dissolved the program when he took office. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt joined Paxton in filing the lawsuit.

Joe Biden’s chronic case of Trump Derangement Syndrome is evident in his policy decisions, including those that apply to illegal immigration. Joe’s an open borders kind of guy these days. In order to appease the far left of his party, he made quick work of abandoning all that the Trump administration had in place at the southern border to deal with waves of migrants flooding the border seeking asylum. Needless to say, word travels fast. Migrants have received the message loud and clear – just cross the border and everything is fine. Illegal migrants have the expectation of remaining in America, not Mexico from where they entered the U.S.

One obvious solution to the exploding crisis on the southern border is to reinstate the Remain-in-Mexico program. Attorneys General Paxton and Schmitt ask that the program be reinstated nationwide. Both ask that Texas and Missouri be awarded “the costs of this action and reasonable attorney’s fees.” The lawsuit calls Biden’s decision “arbitrary and capricious”.

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.

More than 70,000 migrants who were enrolled in the MPP program were sent back to Mexico. Many were forced to live in sometimes dangerous and unsanitary migrant camps.

When Biden suspended the Remain-in-Mexico program, he did not bother to provide an immediate plan to allow migrants to enter the country. In February, those in the Remain-in-Mexico program were allowed to enter the U.S. Biden’s hasty, rash actions created a lot of uncertainty among border patrol agents and other law enforcement officials on the southern border. At the same time, Department of Homeland Security officials announced a 100-day moratorium on deportations. Attorney General Paxton filed the first lawsuit against the new Biden administration over that executive order. A federal judge ruled in favor of Paxton in that case.

Paxton continues to hold the Biden administration accountable, as it relates to Texas. He has sued over Biden’s decision to pick winners and losers in the energy sector. When Biden rescinded permits for the Keystone XL pipeline, he filed a lawsuit, as he did over new restrictions on oil drilling on federal lands.

Joe Biden irresponsibly put a halt to a program that was successfully working with full cooperation from Mexico. He had no other plan to begin using in its place. There have been no announcements of new agreements with Mexico or with the Northern Triangle countries – Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. As long as Team Biden continues to be in denial of the crisis on the border, they own the humanitarian repercussions. Human traffickers, coyotes, and drug cartels are reaping the benefits of Biden’s abandonment of his duties to keep the southern border secure.