A Texas district judge indefinitely extended the pause on the Biden administration’s attempt to halt deportations for a period of 100 days.
“Texas claimed injury from unanticipated detention costs is sufficiently concrete and imminent,” the Trump-appointed judge wrote in his order, according to The Texas Tribune.
“The harm is concrete or de facto because Texas incurs real financial costs in detaining criminal aliens.”
The indefinite suspension came after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration in January for ordering a pause on all deportations shortly after taking office.
“As of midnight tonight, stop all removals,” the email read. “This includes Mexican bus runs, charter flights and commercial removals (until further notice) … all cases are to be considered [no significant likelihood of removal in foreseeable future].”
Paxton sued, arguing that a deportation moratorium was a violation of federal law, The Associated Press reported.
Texas had signed an agreement with the DHS during the Trump administration that required the state to be consulted prior to any actions that would “reduce, redirect, reprioritize, relax, or in any way modify immigration enforcement.”
“Our state defends the largest section of the southern border in the nation,” Paxton said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.
“Failure to properly enforce the law will directly and immediately endanger our citizens and law enforcement personnel.”
Tipton agreed with Paxton at the time and ordered a 14-day suspension of the deportation moratorium, CNN reported.
“In light of the foregoing, the Court finds that the threat of injury to Texas outweighs any potential harm to Defendants and the public interest is served and protected by the issuance of this TRO,” he wrote.
An additional 14-day suspension, through Feb. 23, was ordered at the beginning of this month to give parties more time to “provide for a more fulsome record” to help the court in “adjudicating Texas’s motion for a Preliminary Injunction,” Fox News reported.
Biden had campaigned on the 100-day pause as part of his immigration agenda, according to Fox News.
That “pause” would exclude people who are found to have engaged in terrorism or espionage or to pose a danger to national security.
Deportations may also still be sought for individuals who have recently entered the country illegally and individuals who served time in prison for aggravated felonies.
ICE said it will still deport those who commit serious crimes.
“The commission of an aggravated felony is the most conclusive proof of a public safety threat,” ICE spokeswoman Jenny Burke said in a statement. “ICE retains its unlimited discretion to evaluate any conduct in defining a public safety threat.”
DHS director Tae Johnson told his staff that illegal immigrants with records of violent behavior, gang affiliations or aggravated felonies should be considered public safety threats who might qualify for deportations. Crimes such as murder, rape, child abuse and major drug offenses would be included, he said.
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