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A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked President Biden’s moratorium on deportations for 100 days — an early setback to the administration’s efforts to roll back the immigration policies of former President Donald Trump.
District Judge Drew Tipton issued the restraining order Tuesday after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued to block its implementation, arguing it was “unconstitutional” and “bad for Texas and the nation.”
Tipton, a Trump appointee, ruled against the Homeland Security memo directing the halt in deportations, because it had failed “to provide any concrete, reasonable justification for the 100-day pause.”
The ruling suspends the policy for 14 days.
The Homeland Security memo would have applied to any immigrants in the country illegally who have received final deportation orders with exceptions for terrorism or espionage.
The moratorium would have continued as the agency reviews procedures and practices as it battles the coronavirus pandemic.
Tipton’s order is an early blow to the Biden administration, which has proposed far-reaching changes sought by immigration advocates, including a plan to legalize an estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. Biden promised during his campaign to issue the moratorium.
And the order also represents a victory for Texas’ Republican leaders, who often sued to stop programs enacted by Biden’s Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama. It also showed that just as Democratic-led states and immigration groups fought former President Donald Trump over immigration in court, often successfully, so too will Republicans with Biden in office.
“Due to limited resources, DHS cannot respond to all immigration violations or remove all persons unlawfully in the United States. Rather, DHS must implement civil immigration enforcement based on sensible priorities and changing circumstances,” the memo from acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske said.
Biden signed a flurry of executive orders since his inauguration last Wednesday, including extending protections for Dreamers in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, halting border wall construction and rescinding the ban on travel from mainly Muslim nations.
With Post wires
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