Miyares files amicus brief supporting lawsuit critical of Biden administration
Thu, May 25, 2023 10:56 AM
By Sarah Roderick-Fitch, The Center Square
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares led 23 states by filing an amicus brief supporting a Florida lawsuit critical of the Biden administration’s handling of immigration and security issues at the southern border.
The brief supports the state of Florida in the case, Florida v. Mayokas, which says the Biden administration’s “unlawful immigration policy” is “creating a dangerous crisis.” The suit asserts the administration has released asylum seekers cited at the border into the United States instead of “detaining illegal immigrants as the law requires.”
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas defended the administration’s handling of the security at the southern border, discounting claims from critics that the border is porous.
“I want to be very clear: Our borders are not open. People who cross our border unlawfully and without a legal basis to remain will be promptly processed and removed,” Mayokas said earlier this month during a White House press briefing.
“An individual who is removed under Title 8 is subject to at least a five-year ban on reentry into the United States and can face criminal prosecution if they attempt to cross again,” he continued.
Miyares argues the White House’s immigration policies are to blame for the crisis, reaffirming a ruling from Florida’s U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell, which ordered the federal government to stand down from its plans to “parole” asylum seekers crossing the Texas/Mexico border.
“The Biden’s administration immigration policy started this crisis, and it has already been deemed illegal by a federal court. No rebranding attempt can change its impact on states and communities nationwide,” said Miyares.
The attorney general highlighted the issues of drug trafficking and human trafficking at the border, pointing the finger at the Biden administration, echoing a similar message from Gov. Glenn Youngkin during an interview with The Center Square earlier this month.
“The Biden administration’s failure in leadership at the border has led to an explosion of human trafficking, drug trafficking and exploitation of the most vulnerable,” said Miyares.
The brief accuses the administration of exacerbating an immigration crisis, claiming “its unlawful policy merely compounds the emergency.”
The legal document underscores the argument that an influx of asylum seekers is burdensome on infrastructure and public resources.
“Providing for the more than one million illegal immigrants released into the interior by the Administration is causing immense strain to the States’ public infrastructures, hampering their ability to provide vital services to their citizens, and throwing their labor markets into chaos,” according to the brief. “The Administration’s policy of ‘catch and release’ rather than detaining them has not only encouraged more illegal immigration, but also dangerous criminal activity like fentanyl smuggling and human trafficking, both of which have exacted a terrible toll on this country.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre disputes critics. She says the initial suit attempted to “sabotage” the administration’s border security policy.
“Migrants who do not have a lawful basis to remain will be quickly removed, just like 1.4 million migrants who were expelled last year alone,” Jean-Pierre said during a White House press briefing. “But even before Title 42 lifted, the attorney general of Florida filed suit to sabotage our effort to humanely and effectively manage the border.”
In addition to Virginia, other states named in the amicus brief include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.