Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, along with over a dozen other GOP-led states, is taking legal action against the Biden administration over a recent policy aimed at addressing the anticipated surge of illegal migrants at the southern border, according to a statement from Miyares’ office.
The contested Biden administration rule was implemented to mitigate the expected increase in migrants at the southern border following the expiration of Title 42, a Trump-era expulsion order, on May 11. Title 42 had rendered migrants ineligible for asylum if they passed through another safe country before reaching the United States. Miyares argues that the rule contains multiple exceptions that allow migrants to enter the country, such as booking entry appointments through a phone app, claiming imminent danger in their home country, or having their asylum request denied in another country, as outlined in the lawsuit.
“The rebuttable presumption created by the Circumvention Rule is lawful. However, the exemptions to that rebuttable presumption are not. Nor are the unreasonably vague factors allowing aliens to rebut the presumption. The Circumvention Rule contains a severance provision stating ‘that any provision of this section held to be invalid or unenforceable by its terms, or as applied to any person or circumstance, should be construed so as to continue to give the maximum effect to the provision permitted by law.’ This Court should therefore declare the exceptions to the Circumvention Rule to be unlawful, vacate those exceptions, and enjoin Defendants from implementing them,” states the lawsuit.
Additional Republican-led states, including Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming, have also joined the lawsuit.
Miyares remarked, “This plan proposed by the Biden Administration does little to deter illegal immigration and, instead, provides the Cartels with a makeshift manual on how to circumvent and exploit our immigration regulations.”
He added, “Encouraging more border crossings without congressional approval will merely worsen the chaos and tragedy taking place at the border and promote further fentanyl and human trafficking that is tearing apart Virginia’s communities.”
According to federal data, Border Patrol recorded over 2.2 million migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2022. In the first seven months of fiscal year 2023, Border Patrol has already recorded over 1.2 million migrant encounters at the southern border.