Republican states sue Biden admin over asylum rule, as legal challenges to border policies mount

A coalition of Republican states on Thursday sued the Biden administration over a controversial rule that would expedite asylum claims at the southern border — the latest in a slew of legal challenges by Republican states over the administration’s immigration policies.

The lawsuit by 14 states, led by Arizona, Missouri and Louisiana, seeks to block a rule that would allow U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers, rather than immigration judges to hear asylum cases for migrants placed in expedited removal. The rule is set to go into effect in May.

“That Rule eviscerates crucial safeguards to our nation’s immigration system and flouts clear statutory commands enacted by Congress,” the states say, claiming it “makes it substantially easier for unauthorized economic migrants to enter the United States and obtain asylum through false claims.” 

The rule would mean that those migrants who claim they have a credible fear of being returned to their home country would have an interview with a USCIS officer who would determine whether they be granted asylum or referred to a judge for removal proceedings — which DHS said would also be streamlined. They would be paroled into the U.S. – which is allowed only for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit” – for that process.

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