Paxton sues Biden administration over new rule for immigrants

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration on Thursday. This is something Paxton does on a regular basis. He has sued the Biden administration dozens of times and usually wins. In this lawsuit, he accuses the Biden administration of nullifying a Trump-era federal law that prevents immigrants from getting green cards if they are dependent on government social services.

The Office of the Attorney General made the announcement in a news release on Thursday, saying the rule had cost Texas taxpayers upwards of $1.67 billion.

“The Biden Administration is committed to opening the borders to aliens who lack the ability to take care of themselves. Texans should not have to pay for these costly immigrants, nor should any other American,” Paxton said. “I will continue to defend the rule of law and fight to ensure that the massive costs of illegal immigration don’t further burden taxpayers.”

The attorney general contended that the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 requires the government to consider certain factors when admitting immigrants to determine whether they will become a “public charge.” Texas claims that a rule published by the administration in December illegally disregards those provisions of law.

“Since 1882, federal immigration law has barred the admission of aliens who are unable to take care of themselves and will become public charges,” the state wrote in its complaint.

The complaint is the latest in a series of legal actions Paxton has taken against the federal government over border security and illegal immigration. The border crisis was the centerpiece of Paxton’s successful reelection bid, which ended with his defeat of Democratic nominee Rochelle Garza in the general election.

The State of Texas filed the lawsuit at the federal courthouse in Victoria.

According to the CATO Institute, immigrants, broadly speaking, consumed less public assistance than native-born Americans in 2019. No further breakdown was provided by legal immigration status.

“Based on data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we find that immigrants consume 28 percent less welfare and entitlement benefits than native‐​born Americans on a per capita basis,” the think tank wrote in March 2022.

“By comparison, immigrants consumed 21 percent less welfare and entitlement benefits in 2016 on a per capita basis. From 2016 to 2019, the underconsumption of welfare by immigrants relative to native‐​born Americans widened by about 7 percentage points.”

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