Litigation Tracker: LA Judge Dismisses Suit Over Asylum Officer Regulation, Other Updates

See below for recent updates and upcoming decisions in extremist challenges to immigrant inclusive policies. As always, you can find more information about these and other cases on our microsite.

19-state challenge to asylum officer regulation dismissed for lack of standing

Last week in the Western District of Louisiana, Judge Joseph dismissed for lack of standing the 19-state challenge (led by Louisiana and Florida) to a 2022 regulation that tries to speed up the asylum application process by (among other things) expanding the types of applications that asylum officers can adjudicate, to relieve pressure from overburdened immigration courts. While writing disparagingly of the Biden Administration’s immigration policies generally, Judge Joseph held that Louisiana and Florida failed to prove that they were economically harmed (via increased costs) by the asylum regulation specifically—notwithstanding collecting personal identifying information of asylum seekers in their states through discovery. Relying in part on Judge Tipton’s recent decision in the CHNV parole case, Judge Joseph highlighted that the states could not show that they have suffered any costs at all and, moreover, that asylum grants have apparently gone down since the regulation’s implementation. [He also dismissed two claims on additional grounds.] The states have until June to file an appeal with the Fifth Circuit.

Judge Joseph’s decision should improve the chances of the Biden Administration’s pending request for reconsideration of the February denial of its motion to dismiss the other challenge to this regulation (brought by Texas), arguing that Judge Kacsmaryk applied the wrong legal standard.

TX border wall case gets even more possible intervenors

Since our last report, Texas’s border wall case has attracted even more motions to intervene, including from the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition, who successfully sued the Trump Administration (twice) over his misuse of military and Treasury funds for border wall construction. The settlement of those cases obligates the federal government to allocate $45 million to mitigate the impacts of the unlawful construction, and it had intended to use the appropriations at issue in Texas’s case as the source of those funds until seemingly prohibited from doing so by Judge Tipton’s preliminary injunction. Like the four other sets of proposed intervenors, they ultimately want Judge Tipton to clarify or amend his injunction.

Decisions we are anticipating:

  • Judge Kacsmaryk’s final judgment in Texas’s zombie-like case challenging the end of Remain in Mexico; the briefing has been complete since early October of last year.
  • Judge Tipton’s final judgment in the challenge to the “public charge” regulation, which has been fully briefed since late December.
  • Judge Lynn’s decision on the motions to dismiss Texas’s lawsuit over the Central American Minors (CAM) program, which were fully briefed and argued as of January 31.

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