Court blocks Biden’s deportation freeze

Court blocks Biden’s deportation freeze

As I reported in a previous article, on January 20, 2021, just after taking office, Pres. Biden issued an executive order calling for a 100-day pause on most deportations or removals.

Immediately after that order was released, Texas filed a lawsuit, seeking a Temporary Restraining Order, and on January 26, 2021, a Texas federal judge granted a 14-day Temporary Restraining Order, barring the Department of Homeland Security from pausing most deportations across the country. The Biden administration is expected to appeal.

What this Temporary Restraining Order means is that ICE is to resume all deportations despite Biden’s executive order, which prioritized deportation for those who are considered felons, terrorists, and threats to national security, but had temporarily suspended enforcement actions against those who fall outside these three categories.

The federal judge stated in his ruling that federal agencies such as DHS “do not have discretion to completely disregard” immigration laws, which state, “when an alien is ordered removed, the Atty. Gen. (DHS) shall remove the alien from the United States within a period of 90 days.” In other words, immigration law requires DHS to deport or remove people within 90 days of their being ordered removed.

But what is sad and alarming is that in 2011, Pres. Obama did the very same thing: he came out with a policy of “prosecutorial discretion,” where the government would focus on felons, terrorists, etc., but would use discretion and not vigorously pursue removal actions against those who, although out of status, did not pose a threat to society.  That “pause” on such deportations was not challenged in court, but now Texas is doing so.

In addition, the executive branch of government (which is the President) is in charge of enforcing the law, and part of his authority or discretion is to determine how or the manner in which laws are enforced. This judge seems to say that the executive branch must fully and vigorously enforce removal orders for everybody.

This is a developing story and could affect so many people in removal proceedings or have been ordered removed. Biden was going to go easy on most people, but as result of this lawsuit and injunction, it remains up in the air how vigorously immigration laws will be enforced.

So, keep reading these articles, or watch my YouTube channel, US Immigration TV, as I will keep you updated on any new developments.


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