A federal judge has denied the Biden administration’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that challenges President Joe Biden’s asylum rule, which has worsened illegal crossings at the Texas-Mexico border.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, appointed by former President Donald Trump, stated in his order that Texas has grounds to sue because the state has faced increased costs for border security and other services as a result of the border crisis. 

“Worse still, Plaintiff’s potential harm is amplified ‘because of the ongoing crisis at the border’ — a crisis forcing Plaintiff to spend ‘more on border security than ever before,’” wrote Kacsmaryk. 

The July 2022 Legislative Budget Board reported that Plaintiff “appropriated $800 million for border security” in the 2018–19 legislative session, “$800.6 million” in 2020–21, and “$2.926 billion” in the most recent session. And similar increases have been necessary to meet the requisite pressures on “criminal justice, public safety, state health services, the Military Department, court administration, and the Department of Motor Vehicles.”

Paxton first filed the lawsuit in April 2022, after the Biden administration adopted a new rule to speed up asylum processing and deportations. 

Paxton argued that the rule erroneously shifts the powers of immigration judges to asylum officers, which violates the Appointments Clause in Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution. 

“The Interim Rule empowers asylum officers to preside over hearings. At the end of the hearings, the asylum officer may decide whether an alien is granted or denied asylum,” reads the complaint. “The transfer of adjudicatory authority from properly appointed officers of the United States to those who do qualify as officers of the United States violates the Appointments Clause.”

The Biden administration attempted to dismiss the suit, claiming Texas did not have standing to sue. 

In a press release, Paxton said the recent ruling by Judge Kacsmaryk sets a precedent for other courts to “find that Texas has standing to challenge the Biden Administration’s unlawful immigration policies.”

“It is tremendously important for Texas and for our Constitutional order that this case is allowed to move forward,” said Paxton. “The Biden Administration must not be permitted to ignore Congress and violate the Constitution. We take every opportunity to hold Biden accountable for his unlawful overreach.”

America First Legal, which is serving as co-counsel on the case, released a statement from its president, Stephen Miller, saying, “This is an important victory in our fight to end Joe Biden’s radical plan to convert the border into a citizenship manufacturing facility.” 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.