Texas Republicans Demand Biden Reimburse Border Costs; Paxton sues new plan for migrants

WASHINGTON — Texas Republicans in Congress have demanded that President Joe Biden find a way to reimburse the state for its border security efforts and that he meet to discuss the crisis, as Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block Biden’s new policy on providing asylum.

Texas spent $4 billion on Operation Lone Star, Gov. Greg Abbott’s policy of deploying the National Guard and other government resources.

“We urge you to work with us to stop the flow of illegal migration on the southern border,” reads the letter signed by all 25 Texas Republicans in the US House of Representatives. “We also ask for a meeting with you to discuss the border crisis” and the solutions proposed by the Republicans, most of which were deemed unacceptable by the White House and its Democratic allies.

The letter, dated Monday, was released as Paxton announced a lawsuit by a 20-state coalition seeking to block the carrot-and-stick policy that Biden unveiled Jan. 5, allowing 30,000 asylum seekers from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua to be admitted every month. and Venezuela if they apply from their own country, while providing severe penalties for anyone who crosses the border without permission.

Paxton and other critics argue that the program is an abuse of executive power because it creates a de facto path to citizenship for 360,000 migrants a year, contrary to current law.

“Every state in America, especially border states like Texas, is crushed by illegal immigration,” Paxton said in a statement announcing the lawsuit brought by Texas. “Biden’s open borders agenda has resulted in a humanitarian crisis that is increasing crime and violence on our streets, stifling local communities, and exacerbating the opioid crisis. This illegal amnesty program, which will invite hundreds of thousands of foreigners to the US every year, will only exacerbate the immigration crisis.”

Cruz calls Biden’s visit to El Paso “infuriating”; others blow up sanitized frontier view

America First Legal, founded by Stephen Miller, architect of Donald Trump’s immigration and border policy, worked with Paxton on the lawsuit.

Miller called Biden’s amnesty policy “a radical new proposal to accelerate mass migration” and “a provisional amnesty for illegal immigrants before they even arrive at our borders.”

“This is a dramatic escalation in the crusade for open borders,” he said, praising Paxton for fighting policies he called “illegal, unconstitutional and despicable.”

Texas Republicans Seek to Lead Border Security Debate Coming to Capitol Hill

Biden visited El Paso three days after the new asylum policy was unveiled. Republicans accused him of getting a “sanitized” view of the border, noting that he never crossed paths with the typical crowds of new arrivals or witnessed groups of migrants streaming through the Rio Grande. Three Democratic members of Congress from Texas joined the tour.

The White House rebuffed Rep. Tony Gonzalez of San Antonio, a Republican whose district includes part of El Paso.

Gonzalez, whose district stretches 800 miles from the state’s vast border with Mexico, has distanced himself from the hardline approaches that many of his colleagues espouse. For example, he rejected Chip Roy’s newly proposed Austin Border Security and Safety Act. The bill would allow DHS to turn away asylum seekers if it is unable to hold them during the asylum process, a goal the department never got close to, in large part because Congress never provided enough funding.

Last month, Texas Republicans who are in or about to take office — with the exception of Gonzalez — put forward a number of ideas that included a 10-year prison sentence for a fraudulent asylum claim and a claim for federal reimbursement for efforts to secure the state border.

The delegation’s letter to Biden smoothed over such differences, and Gonzalez and his colleagues found common ground in frustration over the record number of illegal border crossings and the high costs that Texas taxpayers are incurring on top of the federal effort.

“The Texans we represent have been at the forefront of the crisis caused by your administration’s failed policies,” the letter said.

“Ranchers throughout West Texas regularly find the bodies of dead migrants or destroy their private property. Drugs crossing our border have caused a record number of American deaths from synthetic drugs like fentanyl. Small communities along the border are suffering from the failures of the federal government. These cities should not be forced to reallocate their already depleted resources to keep their communities safe.”

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