Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit on Thursday to stop the Biden administration from ignoring a federal immigration law that prevents illegal immigrants from residing in the United States if they’re likely to rely on taxpayer-funded programs.
“I’ve sued [President Joe] Biden over a dozen times to secure our southern border,” Paxton said on Twitter. “Now, just as 2023 is starting, I’m bringing another lawsuit—the first of its kind in the nation on Biden’s disastrous new public-charge rule. I’ll keep suing [and] winning until he [and] his lawless Dems follow the law.”
Paxton accused the Biden administration of furthering an open borders policy by enacting the new rule, which “effectively nullifies federal law excluding aliens likely to become public charges,” according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (pdf).
That rule has been in place since 1882 and was reaffirmed by Congress in 1996 under the bipartisan Welfare Reform Act. By not enforcing the law, the Biden administration has opened the door to illegal aliens who’ll be dependent on welfare, the lawsuit alleges.
Paxton’s lawsuit argues that the December 2022 rule was enacted in violation of federal law and is arbitrary and capricious.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
Paxton’s office said the new rule prohibits the consideration of statutorily required factors in determining whether an alien is likely to become a “public charge.” The term public charge first appeared in statute in the Immigration Act of 1882, where Congress barred the admission of “any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.”