PHOENIX -- Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is leading a coalition of 14 states suing the Biden administration over yet another unlawful immigration rule (Asylum Rule) that 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 is nothing more than a radical attempt to set up a system that encourages illegal immigration and undermines the rule of law,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “President Biden may not care about the American people, but I do. I will continue to push back against his unlawful policies and imperial edicts.”
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 law. This 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.
General Brnovich also 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. General Brnovich is currently leading a separate lawsuit against the Biden administration's unlawful revocation of Title 42, where he has successfully obtained a Temporary Restraining Order earlier this week.
The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Joining General Brnovich are the Attorneys General of Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.
Copy of complaint here.
General Mark Brnovich is a national leader when it comes to challenging the federal government’s disastrous and illegal policies that are fueling the border crisis. Since last year, he has filed numerous lawsuits to hold the Biden administration accountable, including:
- Arizona v. CDC (challenging revocation of Title 42)
- Arizona et al v. Biden (Challenging DHS Final Guidance)
- Arizona v. San Francisco (Defending Public Charge Rule)
- Arizona v. Mayorkas et al (Challenging Biden administration’s illegal violation relating to cancellation of Border Wall Construction and the Remain in Mexico program)
- Arizona, et al. v. USDHS, et al (Challenging Interim Guidance)
- Read about additional AGO actions here