Texas asks judge to halt 'catch-and-release' border policy

Representing Texas alongside Attorney General Ken Paxton is America First Legal, a group led by former Trump administration adviser Stephen Miller.

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This anarchistic catch-and-release policy plainly and facially violates the Administration’s own public health guidelines, regulasies, and directives,” Miller said in a statement. “While Americans are still required to wear masks on planes and the CDC is still trying to shut down many aspects of daily life, the government is actively facilitating the entry of illegal aliens whose journey is defined by the radical absence of health protocols.

In a brief filed on Wednesday, Texas claimed that the Biden administration improperly created a categorical exception to the CDC order for unaccompanied minor children, and is also largely ignoring a section of the Immigration and Naturalization Act which calls for examining those who enter the country who are at risk of spreading illnesses.

The Defendants’ abandonment of their authority to prevent the introduction of aliens who might carry COVID-19 into the United States under the Public Health Service Act of 1944 (“PHSA”) combined with their failure to ensure the detention of those aliens whom they process under the INA results in significant harms to Texas and its citizens,” said a brief filed for Texas. “Texans will continue to be exposed to COVID-19 or new variations thereof, Texans will continue to contract COVID-19, Texans will die from COVID-19, and Texas will incur significant costs in terms of healthcare and law enforcement resources.

Texas alleges that they are at risk of imminent harm without a court order because the Biden administration is failing to keep thousands of migrants out of the country, and then failing to detain and examine most of them during a pandemic. The state pointed to a drastic increase in family units crossing the border from the end of 2020 aan 2021. Texas cited Customs and Border Protection statistics saying that officials encountered 4,300 members of family units in November, compared to a high of 54,115 in Maart, 50,094 in April, en 44,639 in Mei.

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In kontras, Texas noted that just 5,031 people were sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement family residential centers in Fiscal Year 2021 sover. They claim that this is evidence that the administration is allowing thousands of people crossing the border to be released into the U.S. without being tested or quarantined for COVID-19.

ICE’s own statistics demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of aliens in family units are not being transferred to ICE custody in the first instance,” the brief said. “This means that CBP is releasing family unit aliens directly from its custody at the border. Even those few transferred to an ICE Family Residential Center are being quickly processed and released into the interior of the United States—rather than detained for observation or examination as required by 8 U.S.C. § 1222(a).”

Fox News reached out to the White House for comment but they did not immediately respond.

The request for an injunction comes as part of a lawsuit Texas brought against President Biden, various federal agencies, and their leaders. Among the America First Legal attorneys involved in the case is former Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

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