A federal judge on Tuesday barred the U.S. government from enforcing a 100-day deportation moratorium that is a key immigration priority of President Joe Biden.
U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a temporary restraining order sought by Texas, which filed a lawsuit on Friday against a Department of Homeland Security memo that instructed immigration agencies to pause most deportations.
Tipton said the Biden administration had failed “to provide any concrete, reasonable justification for a 100-day pause on deportations.”
Tipton’s order is an early blow to the Biden administration, which has proposed sweeping immigration reforms, including a plan to legalize an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.
Biden promised during his campaign to pause most deportations for 100 days.
The order represents a victory for Texas’ Republican leaders, who often sued to stop programs enacted by former President Barack Obama, a Democrat.
David Pekoske, the acting Homeland Security secretary, signed a memo on Biden’s first day in office directing immigration authorities to focus on anyone apprehended entering the U.S. illegally after Nov. 1. That was a reversal from Trump administration policy that made anyone in the U.S. illegally a priority for deportation.
The 100-day moratorium went into effect on Friday and applied to almost anyone who entered the U.S. without authorization before November.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that the moratorium violated federal law as well as an agreement Texas signed with the Department of Homeland Security late in the Trump administration.
That agreement required Homeland Security to consult with Texas and other states before taking any action to “reduce, redirect, reprioritize, relax, or in any way modify immigration enforcement.”
The Biden administration argued in court filings that the agreement is unenforceable because “an outgoing administration cannot contract away that power for an incoming administration.”
Tipton wrote that his order was not based on the agreement between Texas and the Trump administration but on federal law.
Did you know that The Western Journal now publishes some content in Spanish as well as English, for international audiences? Click here to read this article on The Western Journal en Español!
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.