Federal

Texas Attorney General Files Lawsuit to End Exemption From Title 42 Expulsion for Unaccompanied Minors

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the Biden administration to remove the exemption from expulsion under Title 42 for unaccompanied minors. Paxton contends the exemption dangerously exposes Texas residents to COVID-19.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a rule on February 17, 2021, that exempted unaccompanied minors from expulsion under Title 42 — the special immigration rules the Trump administration invoked to protect the public from COVID-19. The State of Texas is seeking a ruling that would require the feds to enjoin that exception.

Paxton filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in the Fort Worth division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. According to federal court records, the Biden administration is required to respond by June 30, and there will be a hearing in Fort Worth on July 12.

The motion also reads, “Further, the State of Texas respectfully moves this Court to preliminarily enjoin the Defendants’ failure to detain, quarantine, and test — under 8 U.S.C. § 1222(a) — all aliens arriving who could carry a communicable disease of public health significance before releasing them into the United States.”

The attorney general said that Biden has shown “repeated disregard for the lives of those who live in border states.”

“For an Administration that says they recognize the disaster this pandemic has wreaked on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans, they appear to have no interest in preventing another COVID-19 surge,” Paxton said. “Texas is open for business and Biden’s actions are thwarting our re-opening. I have one message to President Biden: Do the right thing and follow the law.”

There were about 10,756 enforcement encounters with unaccompanied children in Texas border patrol sectors in May, according to figures released on June 3 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

On Thursday, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,091 new cases of the coronavirus in addition to 38 new deaths.

This is not the first time the State of Texas has sued the federal government over illegal immigration and coronavirus. Paxton filed a lawsuit in April alleging that the feds were violating their own coronavirus protocols by housing illegal aliens in “congregate settings.”

He also teamed up with the attorney general of Missouri to sue for the reinstatement of the “remain in Mexico” policy, which required a number of individuals seeking admission to the U.S. to wait outside the country while their requests were processed. 

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and Land Commissioner George P. Bush are challenging Paxton in the Republican primary for attorney general.

The Biden administration has also faced criticism for sending unaccompanied minors to Midland without giving a heads up to local officials. The children at that facility have required medical treatment at Midland Memorial Hospital for which the federal government had not paid as of May 28.

The Texan has reached out to the hospital on the status of their request for reimbursement.

Update: A representative of Midland Memorial, Tasa Richardson, told The Texan that the hospital has “begun to receive payments” from the federal government.

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