President Joe Biden made good on his campaign promise to immediately reverse most or all of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, as his administration announced on the very first day that all deportations of detained illegal aliens would be halted for at least 100 days.
That move has earned the Biden administration its first major legal challenge. A lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seeks help from the courts to block the “unlawful” suspension of immigration law enforcement actions like deportations, Breitbart reported.
Pause on deportations
Among more than a dozen executive orders signed just hours after Biden was sworn-in to office was an order to conduct an immediate review and reset of “the policies and practices for enforcing civil immigration laws” to better align with the Democrats’ pro-immigration and open borders agenda.
Concurrently, a memo was issued by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary David Pekoske to the entire department — but specifically Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) — announcing the review of all immigration policies, particularly those put in place during the Trump administration.
In order to facilitate the department-wide review, Pekoske announced that there will be a 100-day pause for most enforcement actions against illegal aliens, like deportations, excepting only the very worst offenders.
Enter Texas AG Paxton, who announced in a statement of his own Friday that he would take legal action to block the Biden administration from implementing the planned deportations freeze.
“In one of its first of dozens of steps that harm Texas and the nation as a whole, the Biden administration directed DHS to violate federal immigration law and breach an agreement to consult and cooperate with Texas on that law,” Paxton said. “Our state defends the largest section of the southern border in the nation. Failure to properly enforce the law will directly and immediately endanger our citizens and law enforcement personnel.”
“DHS itself has previously acknowledged that such a freeze on deportations will cause concrete injuries to Texas. I am confident that these unlawful and perilous actions cannot stand. The rule of law and security of our citizens must prevail,” the Texas attorney general added.
Paxton filed a formal complaint with the U.S. District Court for the East District of Texas as well as a motion seeking a temporary restraining order to block Biden’s DHS from pausing the enforcement of lawful deportation orders.
Laws must still be enforced
To be sure, Biden has every right as a president to order a review of immigration policies and procedures and to make changes where he feels change is necessary.
That said, such changes must be done lawfully and with ample notice to all parties involved — not via a memo and immediate suspension of the enforcement of laws intended to protect the safety and security of American citizens.
But will the federal courts intervene? We’ll see.