Story by Lacey Christ
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is questioning the legality of Biden’s new immigration policy as the president visits the border for the first time in his presidency.
“We have checks and balances. Each branch has its own power. The states have their own power,” Paxton tells Fox Digital. “It’s his own law, his own rules. And he doesn’t run it through Congress.”
After months of urging from Republican lawmakers and border communities, Biden is visiting one of the centers of the border crisis in El Paso, Texas.
In El Paso, CBP agents have been overwhelmed: migrants are sleeping on streets outside the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, new processing centers have been erected to home thousands of new people crossing daily, and officials are even placing barred wire along the Rio Grande to keep people out.
“Republicans haven’t been serious about this at all,” President Biden said on Thursday. “I wanted to make sure that I knew what the outcome, or at least the near outcome was on Title 42 before I went down. We don’t have that yet so I had to operate. I don’t like Title 42, but it’s the law now. I have to operate within it.”
Biden announced that he will be extending Title 42, which is a COVID-era policy that allows officials to rapidly expel migrants. The Supreme Court will be hearing arguments about the legality of the policy on March 1st.
President Biden also said that he is offering a legal pathway for up to 30,000 migrants a month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Venezuela. Migrants who cross into the U.S. illegally are exempt from the program.
“It’s not necessarily a bad or good idea. He’s just not following any constitutional rules that we have relied for over 200 years,” said Paxton.
In the past 100 days, Customs and Border Protection encountered more than 718,000 migrants – 198,000 of which were expelled under Title 42.
In the El Paso sector, 106,561 migrants were encountered so far this fiscal year.
Unfortunately, each migrant that is processed takes manpower away from CBP agents that are fighting drug cartels that have pushed the deadly drug fentanyl across the border and destroyed millions of American families in the process.
“That’s about an hour, a man hour minimum of processing. And that’s not about any type of transport or anything else. That’s just about an hour in front of a computer processing that individual that literally wipes out all the Border Patrol agents on the line,” Former U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott told Fox & Friends.
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Although Biden’s new immigration policy may provide short-term relief to border communities, Paxton says that the White House may face an uphill legal battle in implementing the program.
“If he’s doing this on his own without any type of statutory authority, then we’re going to we’re going to call a spade a spade, say, hey, Mr. President, again, just a reminder, you’re a president, you’re not a dictator, you’re not a king,” said Paxton. “You have to follow the rules, the laws just like everybody else.”