Judge Bans Start of Deportation Pause 02/24 06:10
A federal judge late Tuesday indefinitely banned President Joe Biden's
administration from enforcing a 100-day moratorium on most deportations.
HOUSTON (AP) -- A federal judge late Tuesday indefinitely banned President
Joe Biden's administration from enforcing a 100-day moratorium on most
U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a preliminary injunction sought by
Texas, which argued the moratorium violated federal law and risked imposing
additional costs on the state.
Biden proposed the 100-day pause on deportations during his campaign as part
of a larger review of immigration enforcement and an attempt to reverse the
priorities of former President Donald Trump. Biden has proposed a sweeping
immigration bill that would allow the legalization of an estimated 11 million
people living in the U.S. illegally. He has also instituted other guidelines on
whom immigration and border agents should target for enforcement.
Tipton, a Trump appointee, initially ruled on Jan. 26 that the moratorium
violated federal law on administrative procedure and that the U.S. failed to
show why a deportation pause was justified. A temporary restraining order the
judge issued was set to expire Tuesday.
Tipton's ruling did not require deportations to resume at their previous
pace. Even without a moratorium, immigration agencies have wide latitude in
enforcing removals and processing cases.
But in the days that followed his ruling, authorities deported 15 people to
Jamaica and hundreds of others to Central America. The Biden administration has
also continued expelling immigrants under a separate process begun by Trump
officials, who invoked public-health law due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The legal fight over the deportation ban is an early sign of Republican
opposition to Biden's immigration priorities, just as Democrats and
pro-immigrant legal groups fought Trump's proposals. Almost four years before
Tipton's order, Trump signed a ban on travel from seven countries with
predominantly Muslim populations that caused chaos at airports. Legal groups
successfully sued to stop implementation of the ban.
It was not immediately clear if the Biden administration will appeal
Tipton's latest ruling. The Justice Department did not seek a stay of Tipton's
earlier temporary restraining order.