Judge prevents Biden from enforcing 100-day deportation ban


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A federal judge on Tuesday banned the U.S. government from enforcing a 100-day moratorium on deportations, which is a key immigration priority for President Joe Biden.

U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a temporary restraining order sought by Texas, which on Friday sued a Department of Homeland Security memo that ordered immigration agencies to stay most deportations. Tipton said the Biden administration had “not provided any concrete and reasonable justification for a 100-day break on evictions.”

Tipton’s order is a blow to the Biden administration, which has proposed sweeping changes sought by immigration advocates, including a plan to legalize around 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States. . Biden pledged during his campaign to enact the moratorium.

The order represents a victory for Republican leaders in Texas, who have often sued to stop the agendas adopted by Biden’s Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama. He also showed that just as Democratic-led states and immigration groups fought former President Donald Trump over immigration in the courts, often successfully, Republicans with Biden in power will too. .

While Tipton’s order prohibits the application of a moratorium for 14 days, it does not require evictions to resume at the previous rate. Immigration agencies generally have flexibility in handling cases and planning removal flights.

The Department of Homeland Security returned a request for comment to the White House, which issued a statement saying the moratorium was “entirely appropriate.”

“President Biden remains committed to taking immediate action to reform our immigration system to ensure it respects American values ​​while ensuring the safety of our communities,” the White House said.

David Pekoske, the acting Homeland Security secretary, signed a note on Biden’s first day ordering immigration authorities to focus on threats to national security and public safety as well as any apprehended entering illegally in the United States after November 1. It was a reversal of the policy of the Trump administration. which made everyone in the United States illegally a priority deportation.

The 100-day moratorium went into effect on Friday and applied to nearly everyone who entered the United States without permission before November.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued the moratorium violated federal law as well as an agreement Texas signed with the Department of Homeland Security at the end of the Trump administration. The deal required Homeland Security to consult with Texas and other states before taking action to “reduce, reorient, re-prioritize, relax or in any way modify immigration enforcement.”

The Biden administration has argued in court records that the agreement is inapplicable because “an outgoing administration cannot cede that power to an incoming administration.” Paxton’s office, meanwhile, submitted a Fox News opinion piece as evidence that “refusal to deport illegal aliens leads directly to the immediate release of other illegal aliens in Texas.”

Tipton, a person appointed by Trump, wrote that his order was not based on the deal between Texas and the Trump administration, but on federal law to preserve the “status quo” before the DHS moratorium.

Paxton has defended conservative and far-right causes in court, including a failed trial to overturn Biden’s victory over Trump, as he himself faces an FBI probe into the former allegations. senior collaborators that he abused his office in the service of a donor.

In response to the order, Paxton tweeted “VICTORY” and described the deportation moratorium as a “seditious left-wing insurgency,” an apparent reference to the Jan. 6 insurgency in which Trump supporters took over. storming the Capitol as Congress certifies Biden’s victory. The House has since impeached Trump for inciting a siege. Five people died in the Capitol riot, including a Capitol police officer.

Kate Huddleston of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas criticized Paxton and argued that his lawsuit should not be allowed.

“The administration’s hiatus on evictions is not only legal but necessary to ensure families are not separated and people are not sent back to unnecessary danger while the new administration reviews past actions,” Huddleston said in a press release.


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