Texas sues Biden adminsitration over freeze on deportations, says it will ‘endanger citizens and law enforcement’
The state of Texas sued the federal government on January 22 after President Joe Biden's executive order to halt deportations of 'illegal' immigrants for the first 100 days of his administration. Biden halted deportations for immigrants as one of his first acts in office, as his administration looks to undo former President Donald Trump's policies. However, a lawsuit by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against the federal government cites an agreement the Lone Star state had struck with the Department of Homeland Security in the final days of the Trump administration, the Daily Wire reported.
“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 in a statement. "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," he added.
Paxton cited an agreement signed by Ken Cuccinelli, who was the deputy secretary for the DHS at the time. It reportedly states that the federal government must convene with Texas before enacting any changes to immigration policy. “On its first day in office, the Biden Administration cast aside congressionally enacted immigration laws and suspended the removal of illegal aliens whose removal is compelled by those very laws,” Paxton’s lawsuit asserts. “In doing so, it ignored basic constitutional principles and violated its written pledge to work cooperatively with the State of Texas to address shared immigration enforcement concerns. This unlawful reversal will cause Texas immediate and irreparable harm if it is not enjoined.”
“Wednesday night, the alleged acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) ordered a halt on nearly all deportations of illegal aliens, including those whose removal was ordered following a full and fair hearing and those who are not entitled — and do not claim to be entitled — to further immigration benefits,” it adds. “If left unchallenged, DHS could re-assert this suspension power for a longer period or even indefinitely, effectively granting a blanket amnesty to illegal aliens that Congress has refused to pass time and time again. The Constitution, controlling statutes, and prior Executive pledges prevent a seismic change to this country’s immigration laws merely by memorandum.”
It's worth noting that the new president — throughout the 2020 campaign trail and transition — signaled that he would roll back his predecessor's immigration policies. Trump supporters, however, denounced the president's latest executive orders. "President Biden’s new immigration orders: -Stop building the wall -Stop deportations of criminals -Open borders What’s next?" Rep. Jim Jordan tweeted. "Lockdowns, genders, and deportations all end after Biden’s inauguration. It’s science," another Twitter user quipped.
"The plan pretends to require an '8-year path to citizenship.' In reality, the exceptions would swallow the rule whole," Sen Tom Cotton wrote. "Biden's amnesty plan doesn't just avoid new enforcement, it dismantles existing enforcement. It requires DHS to protect illegal workers from deportation after workplace raids & returns illegal aliens deported during the last administration--even those who committed crimes," he added.
"In the same statement, the Biden admin orders to 'pause removals for certain noncitizens ordered deported,' they claim they 'will continue to enforce our immigration laws.' Pausing ordered deportations is not enforcing immigration law, it is flouting it," GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted.
President Biden’s new immigration orders:— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) January 21, 2021
-Stop building the wall
-Stop deportations of criminals
Lockdowns, genders, and deportations all end after Biden’s inauguration.— Michael Moore (@mbracemoore) January 16, 2021
Biden's amnesty plan doesn't just avoid new enforcement, it dismantles existing enforcement. It requires DHS to protect illegal workers from deportation after workplace raids & returns illegal aliens deported during last administration--even those who committed crimes.— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) January 20, 2021
In the same statement the Biden admin orders to “pause removals for certain noncitizens ordered deported,” they claim they “will continue to enforce our immigration laws.”— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) January 22, 2021
Pausing ordered deportations is not enforcing immigration law, it is flouting it. https://t.co/HTMDsojyiW