After it was revealed that the Biden administration planned to force illegal aliens to remain in Texas while awaiting asylum screening, U.S. officials have now said the plan is being shelved.
According to two U.S. officials and documents obtained by CBS News, local opposition from the Democrat-led City of El Paso collapsed the plan.
As per internal Department of Homeland Security documents, the initiative was set to take effect in mid-September.
Officials in El Paso initially agreed to provide 400 hotel rooms to house illegal aliens who were enrolled in the plan. However, once parts of the plan became public knowledge, local officials backtracked on providing housing for the illegal aliens.
Estrella Escobar, spokeswoman for Democrat El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser, said that the city did agree to increase the number of hotel rooms for illegal aliens. However, she added that the city “never agreed” and “never will” agree to participate in a policy that forces illegal aliens to remain in the city under strict monitoring. She added that those conditions were the reason for the mayor opposing the policy.
“We have conversations with all our federal partners on the humanitarian crisis we are facing on a daily basis,” said Leeser. “The City of El Paso never agreed to any program in which migrant families would be subject to home curfews or ankle monitoring while under our care.”
Last month, Texas Scorecard reported on the Biden administration’s plan to force illegal aliens to remain in Texas—or other border states—by tracking their location through GPS monitoring devices, like ankle bracelets, while they undergo asylum screening.
If it were to be implemented, the plan would have expanded on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) program. The program places illegal alien families under a strict curfew and requires at least one family member to wear a GPS monitoring device.
After the Los Angeles Times brought the proposal to light, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott threatened to sue the administration, asserting that if it goes into effect, he will send more buses to Washington D.C. Additionally, some Democrats also denounced the plan, saying it infringed on the rights of illegal aliens’ movement in the country.
The Biden administration is continuing to challenge Texas in federal court.
In July, after Texas put up marine barriers in the Rio Grande, the U.S. Department of Justice filed for an injunction to remove the barriers. A federal judge initially ruled that Texas must move the buoys, but later the same day, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided to temporarily allow the barriers to remain.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Tuesday in response to federal officials cutting concertina wire placed by Texas to curb the flow of illegal aliens.
Gov. Abbott has placed border security efforts to deter illegal aliens from crossing on the third special session, which is currently underway in Austin.
The third special legislative session expires on November 7.