The Biden administration on Monday stated it might file a lawsuit towards Texas after Gov. Greg Abbott just lately signed an order to drag state licenses for shelters that home unaccompanied kids who just lately crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.
Late final month, Abbott signed an order mandating that officers want to finish state licenses for the shelters being utilized by the federal authorities inside 90 days. The federal authorities—and sometimes the Division of Well being and Human Companies (HHS)—is answerable for caring for and housing unaccompanied kids, based on immigration regulation.
HHS Deputy Basic Counsel Paul Rodriguez despatched a letter (pdf) to Abbott, a Republican, and different Texas officers and warned them that Abbott’s current transfer to rescind state licenses from federal immigration amenities would result in a lawsuit, arguing that it might violate immigration regulation.
“Though we choose to resolve this matter amicably, in gentle of the authorized points outlined above, HHS is consulting the U.S. Division of Justice and intends to pursue no matter acceptable authorized motion is critical to make sure the security and well-being of the weak youth that Congress entrusted to [HHS],” Rodriguez wrote.
The HHS’s Workplace of Refugee Resettlement operates greater than 50 state-licensed amenities in Texas, Rodriguez added in his letter. As these amenities “comprise a good portion of [the agency’s] complete operational footprint, and characterize an indispensable element of the federal immigration system,” Abbott’s current order is a “direct assault” on that system, he stated.
The order, the letter added, “facially discriminates towards the federal authorities and its grantees in violation of the Supremacy Clause.” Because of this, it acknowledged, Abbott and different Texas officers have to make clear by June 11 whether or not the proclamation applies to 52 state-licensed shelters.
“Absent an understanding with Texas by June 11 … HHS shall be ready to pursue all obtainable aid,” Rodriguez stated.
Abbot responded to the HHS letter by saying it’s a part of a stress marketing campaign on behalf of the White Home to assist its immigration insurance policies. Abbott and different Republicans have been sharply crucial of President Joe Biden’s immigration mandates, alleging the president has issued directives designed to dismantle the immigration legal guidelines.
“The Biden administration is but once more pressuring Texas to assist its unlawful immigration program and drive our state to do its job,” the governor stated. “The federal authorities triggered this downside and needs to be solely answerable for the care of those kids. No baby shall be neglected. Texas will stay centered on doing our job—defending Texans.”
Biden and White Home officers have claimed the administration was left a damaged immigration system, though former President Donald Trump and former Trump-era officers have denied the claims.