Attorney General Knudsen leads coalition against the Biden administration’s abandoning of immigration rule

HELENA – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen led a coalition of 20 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of states attempting to stop the Biden administration’s collusion with activists. Biden’s actions would leave the southern border wide open and communities across the country vulnerable to dangerous drugs and crime.

The brief, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, supports Kansas, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and West Virginia’s motion to intervene in a lawsuit brought by asylum seekers and activists against the Biden administration’s “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” rule. Rather than defend the rule designed to protect states from the impacts of an open border, the Biden administration is in settlement talks with the plaintiffs. The proposed intervenor states are rightly concerned that the federal government no longer represents the best interests of their constituents.

“President Biden’s failure to follow the law and secure the southern border is wreaking havoc on communities in Montana and across the country. The crisis at the border has become so bad that every state is now a border state,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “Rather than defend a rule that protects states from the adverse effects of illegal immigration – like illicit drugs and crime, the Biden administration is in settlement negotiations with left-wing, open-border activists. I’m proud to support my colleagues’ efforts to stop these collusive sue-and-settle practices.”

In September 2023, asylum seekers and activists sued the federal government in M.A. v. Mayorkas, attacking the “first safe country principles.” Initially, the administration planned to defend the rule, but in February announced the parties were “engaged in discussions regarding implementation of the challenged rule and related policies and whether a settlement could eliminate the need for further litigation.”

In their brief, the attorneys general argue that states have standing to defend immigration rules and that states have an interest in preventing the Biden administration from circumventing the Administrative Procedure Act via sue-and-settle tactics.

Attorneys general from Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia joined Attorney General Knudsen and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody in filing the brief.

Click here to read the brief.