Austin Knudsen

Knudsen sues Biden administration over attempt to redefine illegal border crossings as “lawful pathways”

Helena – Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced his participation, along with 17 other state attorneys general, in a lawsuit against the Biden administration. The lawsuit challenges the administration’s efforts to redefine certain illegal border crossings as “lawful pathways” into the country. Attorney General Knudsen believes that this proposed border policy will worsen the ongoing crises at the southern border and create a more accessible route for unauthorized individuals to enter the United States.

The Biden administration has introduced the “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” rule, which they assert will replace the Trump-era policy known as Title 42. Title 42 granted officials increased authority to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing the border. However, the new rule primarily attempts to redefine the issue by labeling what is presently considered illegal crossings as “lawful pathways.” Critics argue that this recharacterization does not address the underlying problem, but instead attempts to redefine it in a way that may obscure the reality of the situation.

“The Defendants claim that the Circumvention Rule will deter illegal border crossings, decrease the number of new unlawful aliens in the United States, and reduce reliance on human smuggling networks. The truth, however, is that the Circumvention Rule is some combination of a half measure and a smoke screen,” the lawsuit states. “It is riddled with exceptions, and it is part of the Biden Administration’s broader effort to obfuscate the true situation at the Southwest Border.”

The newly proposed policy would enable a significant influx of illegal immigrants to enter the country, granting them immediate work authorization and access to public benefits. This would impose a financial burden on Montana and other plaintiff states. It’s important to note that these individuals, despite being able to enter legally under the new policy, would still lack legal status within the United States as they had previously entered illegally.

According to the Department of Justice, Montana will have to expend significant resources on education, healthcare, public assistance, and general government services. They state there are roughly 10,000 illegal aliens and their children in the state which costs Montana taxpayers $39,081,833 annually.

The attorneys general highlighted in the lawsuit that there has been a substantial surge in border crossings. Fiscal year 2023 has witnessed over 1.4 million encounters at the southwest border, while in fiscal year 2022, the total encounters reached 2,378,944. Furthermore, between fiscal year 2021 and March 15, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security documented 1.4 million instances of illegal aliens evading border patrol agents, with the likelihood of exceeding 1 million such instances in the current fiscal year. These statistics underscore the gravity of the situation and serve as evidence of the escalating challenges at the border.

BY: Big Sky Headlines Staff

CLICK HERE to read the lawsuit