A new round of lawsuits from Ken Paxton takes aim at immigration, environmental regulations

by | Apr 27, 2021 | Environment, Immigration/Border, Policy

With the Biden Administration preparing to celebrate their first 100 days, one common theme is emerging: a persistent legal foe in the form of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The embattled AG, currently under investigation by the FBI for abuse of office and bribery, essentially set the tone by suing the Biden administration for an immigration executive order that would have paused deportations within the first 72 hours after Inauguration Day.

Now Paxton’s latest federal lawsuit against the immigration policies of the Biden administration has a new ally and outside counsel: the America First Legal Foundation. The new nonprofit is led by Stephen Miller, the notoriously anti-immigrant senior advisor to former President Trump. The lawsuit from Paxton and America First Legal Foundation alleges that the Biden administration is “encouraging the spread of COVID-19” through its immigration policies.

“This reckless policy change stifles the reopening of the Texas economy at a time when businesses need it the most and when our children need to get back to in-person learning as soon as possible,” said Paxton in a press release. The case was filed in Fort Worth and assigned to US District Judge Mark Pittman, a Trump appointee.  

The website for the American First Legal Foundation includes several statements from Miller regarding the formation of the organization, which pledges to fight “a radical left” agenda with the same vigor as progressive organizations have done through the court system. From the website: “While radical progressives have wielded these tactics to undermine the law and America First values for years, we must deploy these tactics in defense of our nation’s legal, cultural, and constitutional heritage.”

Even before he joined the Trump campaign, and later the administration, Miller earned a reputation around Washington for his staunchly anti-immigrant views. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has a detailed look at Miller’s hatred of immigration policies, frequently invoking white nationalist rhetoric and propaganda.

The Board of Directors for the America First Legal Foundation also includes several other officials from the Trump administration, including former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought. Vought was recently announced as the President of an organization called the Center for Renewing America.

The website for Center for Renewing America lists a number of policy issues including secure borders, election integrity, big tech, and cultural Marxism. Under the secure borders policy section, the website says the following: “Politicians in both parties repeatedly push amnesty in defiance of their constituents and citizens in a flagrant attempt to benefit powerful entrenched interests and secure potential long-term political power from a surge of new voters.”

Paxton’s latest lawsuit is one of many related to immigration that Paxton has filed. Paxton is currently leading the charge in a federal lawsuit to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That case, Texas v. United States, held a status hearing in March, but no decision has been released by US District Judge Andrew Hanen.

Paxton’s legal actions against the Biden administration also extend beyond immigration to areas like environmental regulation. Last week, Paxton announced that the state of Texas officially joined a ten-state civil action lawsuit against the Biden administration over an Executive Order aimed at addressing climate change.

“This puffed-up Executive Order was not approved by Congress or the American people, and it flies in the face of the Founders’ vision of state sovereignty and the free market. This is a dangerous act of overreach led by President Biden’s unaccountable environmentalists,” said Paxton in a statement.

Recently, Paxton was on the other end of a lawsuit after it was announced that the ACLU of Texas and Knight First Amendment Institute were suing the AG on behalf of nine plaintiffs for blocking them on his personal Twitter account.    

Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images

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A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).

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