EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The two state attorneys general who pushed the Biden administration to restart the “Remain in Mexico” program for migrants now want to force him to resume construction of the border wall.
Speaking near the banks of the Rio Grande in El Paso on Thursday, Ken Paxton of Texas and Eric Schmitt of Missouri announced a lawsuit to have a federal court declare Biden’s halt and termination of funding for new border wall unlawful.
“He has ignored the appropriations of Congress to build the wall. Under the Constitution, it’s not his job to decide not to spend money the Congress has appropriated. His job is to implement it, not to stop it,” Paxton told Border Report. “The president has been given this money to implement building the wall and he’s completely ignored it.”
The duo earlier this year sued the Biden administration over suspending the Migrant Protection Protocols program (MPP), a Trump-era initiative sending asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until being called to court dates in the United States. A federal circuit court sided with a federal judge who ordered Biden to “enforce and implement MPP in good faith.” The Supreme Court rejected the Biden administration’s petition for a stay to the circuit court order.
Paxton and Schmitt blamed the Biden administration for the record surge in illegal immigration in fiscal year 2021, which according to national news reports reached 1.74 million in the Southern border alone, not counting another 200,000 who came through airports and seaports and the Canadian border.
“This unprecedented surge in illegal immigration is the (result) of the failure of Joe Biden to build a wall that Congress approved money for,” added Schmitt. “I don’t have to tell you down here the challenges we are facing as a country. We got 1.7 million people that have come across (the Southern border) – that we know of – and this is all laid at the feet of Joe Biden.”
Immigration advocates argue that the border wall hadn’t stopped illegal immigration before Biden ordered a stop to construction. However, the elected officials said Border Patrol agents themselves have told them the wall is an essential tool that slows down illegal traffic in certain areas and allows their agents to intercept migrants or drug shipments.
“I’ve talked to border agents numerous times. They want to to their jobs but they’re instructed not to do their jobs. They’re instructed to let people come in,” Paxton alleged. “Most people are not trying to evade, for the most part these people are turning themselves in because they know the police is ‘catch and release,’ be transported all over the country.”
Schmitt, meantime, harped on the theory by conservatives that the Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers want to change the makeup of the American electorate through immigration — by letting millions of potential future Democratic voters come into the country.
Democratic lawmakers have said that’s a fallacy.
Paxton and Schmitt appeared at the river banks announcement flanked by Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and with Republican Party supporters behind them.
The record illegal immigration numbers “very simply came to this point because people in Latin America see that the President of the United States are saying, ‘We’re not going to enforce our laws. We’re going to let everyone come in,'” said Bob Peña, administrator for the Republican Party of El Paso County. “First thing that has to be done is finish that wall so they can stop so many people coming in and stop so many get-aways.”
Peña said the unprecedented surge in unauthorized migration is not only leading to a humanitarian crisis on the border, but it’s also taxing Mexico. “It’s bringing the crisis to our sister city of Juarez. They have thousands of people in gymnasiums and places and that shouldn’t be.”