GOP-led states ask courts to halt changes to US asylum cases

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ABILENE, Texas ( Associated Press) — Republican efforts to stop the Biden administration from turning over asylum claims at the US border widened Thursday as Texas and Arizona asked courts to block new procedures that would take months to clear asylum. can decide cases.instead of years.

Lawsuits piled up in an already busy week over immigration policy. US Supreme Court is questioning a rule that forces some refugees to wait in Mexico, and a federal judge in Louisiana temporarily halted the phasing Asylum restrictions that were imposed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has the Biden administration defending the planned changes to asylum programs on all fronts. They now include new rules that would give asylum officers the right to grant or deny claims – a right that has been limited to immigration judges for people arriving at the border with Mexico.

Thirteen states, all along with the GOP governor or state attorney general, joined Arizona in the lawsuit filed in Louisiana. Texas filed a similar challenge.

“This is nothing more than a radical attempt to set up a system that encourages illegal immigration and undermines the rule of law,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Branovich.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has said the new procedures will reduce the burden on immigration courts, which are part of the Justice Department.

The Biden administration estimated last year that it would need to hire 800 more staff for asylum officers to handle about 75,000 cases a year. Without more funding and new positions, it is unclear how much impact the move will have in the first place.

Since 2017, the United States has been the world’s most popular destination for asylum seekers, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, putting enormous pressure on immigration courts. Court backlog has grown to nearly 1.7 million cases.

The states involved in the lawsuit have also sued to preserve the so-called Title 42 authority, which denies migrants the opportunity of asylum on grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.