FederalImmigration & BorderJudicialTexas Sues Biden Administration for Allowing ‘Potentially Infected’ Illegal Aliens to Violate COVID-19 Rules

The lawsuit decries the effects of the federal government placing illegal aliens in “congregate settings.”
April 26, 2021
In the latest confrontation between the Lone Star State’s Republican attorney general and the Democratic incumbent of the White House, Ken Paxton filed a 34-page lawsuit against the Biden administration on Wednesday alleging that it is causing “irreparable harm to Texas” by disregarding its own COVID-19 rules along the border.

The State of Texas filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth, listing as defendants President Biden and numerous federal departments, agencies, and officials.

The U.S. has been operating under special immigration rules since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic under Title 42 of the United States Code to protect the public from the virus.

The Biden administration is not expelling unaccompanied minors under these special policies, and the lawsuit also accuses the federal government of “failing to detain the overwhelming majority of members of family units[.]”

Paxton’s latest lawsuit contends that the federal government, via “arbitrary and capricious agency action,” is carelessly allowing unaccompanied minors and other illegal aliens to be housed in limited spaces, thereby increasing the risk of coronavirus infection for Texans.

The Texan Tumbler

The lawsuit claims the federal government has stifled the recovery of Texas’ economy by failing to fully comply with coronavirus-related protocols, including October guidelines by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to exclude or properly quarantine illegal aliens who could pose a risk to public health.

In court documents, the state argues that updated guidance from the CDC released in February lacks a “well-reasoned explanation” and that not enough had changed since October that would justify loosening immigration practices.

“The combination of Defendants’ abandonment of their authority under the [Public Health Service Act of 1944] to prevent the introduction of aliens who might carry COVID-19 into the United States, and their failure to ensure the detention of those aliens whom they process under the [Immigration and Nationality Act], results in significant harms to Texas and its citizens,” the lawsuit alleges.

In a press statement, Paxton called the administration’s actions “hypocritical and dangerous.”

“This reckless policy change stifles the reopening of the Texas economy at a time when businesses need it the most and when our children need to get back to in-person learning as soon as possible,” Paxton said. “Law and order must be immediately upheld and enforced to ensure the safety of our communities and the reopening of the strongest economy of the country.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20) lambasted the suit in a social media post on Friday.

“[The] State of Texas and Stephen Miller are suing to force the immediate expulsion of unaccompanied children. These are the same politicians who supported forcibly separating families,” Castro tweeted. “Cruelty was a failed policy. We need a humane and orderly asylum system.”

In part, Texas is hoping for a ruling that requires the federal government to either “return all covered aliens to Mexico under Title 42” or “detain and quarantine under 8 U.S.C. §1222(a) all aliens who could carry a communicable disease of public health significance for at least fourteen days before releasing them into the United States[.]”

Recently, Paxton and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, also a Republican, jointly sued the Biden administration for a reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the “remain in Mexico” policy. 

A copy of the newest lawsuit can be found below.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."