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Sean D. Reyes
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AG Reyes and a Coalition of States Oppose Biden’s Secret Bargaining with Activists at the Border

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Attorney General Reyes recently joined Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and other attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit seeking to keep the Biden administration from using gamesmanship to manipulate a political liability, the border crisis. The Biden administration appears to have decided to abandon its defense of the “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” rule and is instead seeking a settlement agreement with pro-illegal immigration organizations such as the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant. 

AG Reyes stated:

Instead of enforcing laws already in place to secure our border and protect our country, the Biden Administration now abandons a rule it once promoted as a necessary tool for orderly and legal immigration.

By engaging in closed-door, sue-and-settle negotiations with activist plaintiffs, the Administration leaves no one to defend the rule. This abdication of duty disregards the will of the American People and compels Intervenor states to urgently step into the breach.

I’m proud to join my colleagues in opposing this injustice and defending the Rule of Law at our border.

Following a 2023 challenge and subsequent vacatur of the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule, the Biden administration appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District, arguing the rule was absolutely necessary, “any interruption in the rule’s implementation will result in another surge in migration that will significantly disrupt and tax DHS operations.” Until recently, the administration asked the Court to delay further litigation pending a settlement negotiation. 

Following the revelation of a potential settlement, the attorneys general from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Kansas, and West Virginia filed a motion to intervene. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said, “As the tsunami of illegal immigrants continue[s] to pour across our border, Biden and radical activist groups stymie every reasonable effort to defend our country,”…“People in every state are bearing the burdens of this crisis, yet Biden and his cronies refuse to stand up for Americans. Instead, Biden has launched closed-door settlement talks with activist groups to potentially lock in an agreement that would weaken border security for years to come. My colleagues and I are intervening to ensure that does not happen.”

This week, AG Reyes joined Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody-led coalition of 16 states in filing an amicus brief in support of the Intervenor States, saying, “The Intervenor States seek to protect their own sovereign interests by ensuring the challenged rule stays in effect and is used to mitigate illegal immigration—a defense that undeniably shares a common question of law and fact with the main action. This Court should grant their motion and allow them to…intervene”. 

Along with Utah, the following attorneys general joined the brief: Florida, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia.

Read the full amicus brief here.