Judge Blocks Biden's 100-Day Pause on Deportations
U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton indefinitely banned enforcement of executive order
Joe Biden's plan to pause deportations for 100 days has been dealt another devastating blow after a federal judge just indefinitely blocked a January 20 executive order from the White House.
Within hours of being sworn into office, Biden signed a memorandum that would have implemented a moratorium on most deportations of illegal immigrants.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton extended a ban on its imposition in response to a lawsuit from Texas.
Paxton also noted that it was in violation of an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that Texas be consulted before such a move.
Biden had campaigned on the 100-day pause as part of a sweeping immigration agenda that includes an end to the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, and stopping the construction of President Trump's border wall.
The broad "pause" would have had exceptions, according to Fox News.
It would exclude those who, according to a written finding by the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), have engaged in terrorism or espionage or who pose a danger to national security.
It would also exclude those who were not present in the U.S. before Nov. 1, 2020, those who agreed to waive the right to remain, and those whom the ICE director individually determined need to be removed by law.
But Texas argued the directive violates the Constitution and federal law as well as a contractual agreement between Texas and DHS signed in the final days of the Trump administration that the state would be consulted before reducing immigration enforcement or pausing deportations.
The agreement means that DHS must give Texas 180 days' notice of any proposed change on any matter that would reduce enforcement or increase the number of "removable or inadmissible aliens" in the U.S. Paxton claims that agreement has been violated.
"Our state defends the largest section of the southern border in the nation," Paxton said in a statement last month announcing the lawsuit.
"Failure to properly enforce the law will directly and immediately endanger our citizens and law enforcement personnel."
The administration has since issued guidance to ICE agents.
The guidelines inform them that they will need preapproval from managers to arrest some illegal immigrants if they do not fall into the categories similar to those that were also exempted from the deportation freeze.
The guidance is temporary, lasting three months, until DHS can issue further guidance.
Officials said the guidance does not explicitly prevent anyone from being arrested or deported.
Instead, it directs resources at certain targets.