Texas is joining a multi-state lawsuit against the Biden administration over a recent regulatory change that helps foreigners and disadvantages American agricultural workers.

In question is a new United States Department of Labor rule that permits foreign nationals working in the agricultural industry under the H-2A guest worker visa program to unionize and engage in collective bargaining.

Meanwhile, U.S. nationals are still subject to the standards established in the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which exempts the agricultural industry from dealing with trade unions and collective bargaining.

The Department of Labor approved the rule on April 29, pursuant to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, for its Employment and Training Administration and Wage and Hour Division. It is set to take effect on June 28.

However, those plans could be temporarily paused. On Monday, a coalition of 17 state attorneys general, including Texas’ Ken Paxton, argued in a complaint that the rule directly violates the NLRA.

“Joe Biden is using his bureaucratic machinery to favor immigrants who are in the country on temporary visas by unilaterally granting them rights that are not enjoyed by American citizens working in the same industry,” stated Paxton in a Tuesday press release.

“By favoring foreign labor over American workers, Biden is not only breaking the law but turning his back on his own citizens,” he added.

The plaintiffs’ complaint argues that only the U.S. Congress has the authority to change the NLRA and that the new rule creates a precarious situation in which temporary foreign-migrant farmworkers could unionize while American farmworkers could not.

They are asking the U.S. District Court in Southern Georgia’s Brunswick division to postpone the rule’s effective date, declare it unlawful, issue temporary and permanent injunctions on its implementation, and provide financial relief.

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, whose office is leading the 17-state coalition, commented Tuesday that he believes President Joe Biden is once again “putting America last” with the new DOL rule.

“He’s giving political benefits to foreign workers while American workers struggle in Biden’s horrible economy. I stand with American workers,” declared Kobach.

In addition to Kansas and Texas, the plaintiffs also include the states of Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Luca Cacciatore

Luca H. Cacciatore is a journalist for Texas Scorecard. He is an American Moment inaugural fellow and former welder.