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Texas sues Biden admin. to block rule allowing more asylum-seekers to remain in US

Vehicles await to transport migrants as they shelter along the Del Rio International Bridge after crossing the Rio Grande river into the US from Ciudad Acuna in Del Rio, Texas, US September 19, 2021. (Reuters photo)

The US state of Texas has sued the administration of President Joe Biden over its rule that allows more asylum seekers to avoid deportation at the border.

In the lawsuit filed on Thursday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton named Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Biden, among others, as defendants, according to Fox News Digital.

The suit is aimed at blocking a DHS rule that changes the processing system for immigrants who claim "credible fear" of persecution in their home countries.

According to current law, immigration judges handle such cases, but that authority transfers to asylum officers under the DHS rule, which would take effect May 29.

The policy would also enable asylum officers to parole asylum seekers into the US if they believe that detaining the migrant during the proceedings is "impracticable."

"The Interim Rule transfers significant authority from immigration judges to asylum officers, grants those asylum officers significant additional authority, limits immigration-judge review to denials of applications, and upends the entire adjudicatory system to the benefit of aliens," the suit reads.

Texas insists that this policy change will lead to more migrants being released into the Texas, which would cost the state and its residents tens of millions of dollars.

The lawsuit comes one day after Mayorkas told Congress that the Biden administration has "effectively managed" the ongoing border crisis.

The administration has come under frequent criticism from immigrant advocates and progressive Democratic leaders who have urged the president to do more to uphold his responsibility towards asylum seekers.

The latest development comes prior to the planned removal of the Title 42 public health authority next month. The Biden administration had rescinded the policy, effective May 23.

Former president Donald Trump implemented the order at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. His administration claimed the order was to help prevent the spread of the virus across the US' borders with Mexico and Canada.

However, health experts, immigrant rights advocates and leading Democrats argue that scientific evidence does not support its stated goal of helping to stop the spread of the virus.

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