Missouri and 17 other states have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over what they call its “unlawful open-border policies.”  

“The situation at the southern border is out of control, all thanks to Joe Biden,” Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “He refuses to carry out his constitutionally mandated responsibilities, so we’re taking him to court to force him to do his job.” 

The lawsuit argues that President Joe Biden’s “lawful pathways” rule, which was implemented after the end of Title 42 in May, worsens the situation at the southern border by redefining illegal border crossings as “lawful pathways.” 

The COVID-19-era public health measure known as Title 42 allowed the Border Patrol to quickly expel some illegal aliens from the country. When the measure expired on May 11, Biden’s Department of Homeland Security released the “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways Final Rule.”  

The rule states that “noncitizens who cross the southwest land border or adjacent coastal borders without authorization after traveling through another country, and without having (1) availed themselves of an existing lawful process, (2) presented at a port of entry at a pre-scheduled time using the CBP One app, or (3) been denied asylum in a third country through which they traveled, are presumed ineligible for asylum unless they meet certain limited exceptions.”  

Under the new policy, the Biden administration is encouraging migrants to use the so-called CBP One app to make an appointment at a port of entry, but Erin Dwinell, a senior research associate with The Heritage Foundation’s Border Security and Immigration Center, says illegal aliens are simply paroled into the United States. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

Dwinell wrote in a March Daily Signal report that “the same illegal aliens who would otherwise be attempting to cross between ports of entry are being shifted directly to them” by using the CBP One app. “The administration calls this process a ‘lawful pathway,’ but mass paroling tens of thousands of inadmissible aliens through the ports make neither the process, nor the aliens using it, lawful,” she wrote. 

In addition to Missouri, the coalition of states suing the Biden administration over its new asylum policy includes Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. 

The coalition argues that Biden’s rule “would allow vast numbers of aliens to enter the country and receive instant work authorization and quick access to public benefits. These aliens, who previously would have had to cross the border illegally, will still lack lawful status in the United States (though with a false imprimatur of legality, thanks to the Biden Administration’s unlawful procedures), and the States will still be forced to bear the cost of their presence.” 

The 55-page lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota Western Division.

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