State Attorneys General, Led by Kansas, Challenge Biden Administration’s Immigration Policies in Court

By Trish Svoboda

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach is spearheading a group of state attorneys general who are attempting to become involved in two legal disputes between the Biden administration and several immigrants’ rights organizations, including the ACLU. The cases in question are East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Biden and M.A. v. Mayorkas.

In both instances, one in the District of D.C. Court and the other in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, groups advocating for immigrants’ rights are petitioning the courts to get rid of a rule from the Biden administration. This rule permits the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to reject certain asylum seekers.

The coalition submitted motions to intervene due to the Biden administration choosing to enter settlement negotiations rather than defend its own rule. The group of state attorneys general is skeptical that the Biden administration will sufficiently represent their interests concerning illegal immigration during these negotiations.

The attorneys general agree with the caution given by Judge VanDyke, the 9th Circuit judge on East Bay Covenant. They share his view that “it’s hard to avoid any impression other than that the administration is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory – purposely avoiding an ultimate win that would eventually come later this year.” “In the arena of immigration… (the Biden administration has) taken deliberate actions that are hostile to the intervenor states’ interests,” the motion to intervene reads. “It is hard to dispute that the current illegal immigration crisis is seriously harming the United States. Those responsible for preventing and addressing the crisis – the Department of Homeland Security and (the Department of Justice), defendants in this case – have abdicated their responsibility over and over again. And they are heading down the same road in this manner, too.” Four other state attorneys general, including Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and West Virginia, joined Kansas in seeking to intervene.

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