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South Carolina Joins Lawsuit Challenging DHS Fast-Track Asylum System

Attorney General Alan Wilson is joining a coalition of 14 states suing the Biden administration over yet another unlawful immigration rule. The Asylum Rule largely removes federal immigration judges from the asylum review process and instead gives asylum officers within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unprecedented authority to grant asylum to migrants outright. The new rule not only violates federal laws and bypasses Congress but also drastically erodes asylum integrity safeguards.

“This new rule will mean more crime, including drug trafficking and the violence that comes with it, and will force the states to pay for a new wave of immigrants that will further stress our hospitals, schools, jails, and other social services,” Attorney General Wilson said. “The Asylum Rule escapes the bounds of the law and is a grab for power.”

The Biden administration published the Asylum Rule in late March, which applies to new arrivals at U.S. borders who are making asylum claims. Federal law requires that immigration judges within the Department of Justice (DOJ) make the final determinations for migrants’ asylum claims. However, under the new Asylum Rule, that power would be largely transferred to DHS asylum officers, which is a direct violation of federal lawThis would eliminate immigration judges from the review process in most cases and replace them with individuals that are far more susceptible to political control within an administration, guaranteeing an increase in the rate of false asylum claims being granted. Additionally, the Asylum Rule violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101, the Homeland Security Act, and the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

The coalition argues the Biden administration did not follow the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when promulgating the Asylum Rule, including by offering arbitrary and capricious reasoning and changing the final rule so completely from the proposed rule as to deny the public a meaningful chance to comment on it before issuance. Indeed, the changes are so significant that they take over 3,100 words even to summarize the changes, which include at least 23 significant amendments by the Biden administration’s own count.

Furthermore, the Biden administration failed to analyze the interaction between the Asylum Rule and its proposed termination of Title 42, set to become effective on May 23, which will cause a massive increase in illegal immigration and non-meritorious asylum claims. The Asylum Rule will go into effect merely eight days later, causing an exponential increase in illegal border crossings. The effect will be to stack a crisis upon a crisis.

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Joining General Wilson are the Attorneys General of Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

You can read the complaint here.

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