Supreme Court won’t allow Biden administration to impose new border enforcement priorities for now
Washington – divided Supreme court On Thursday, it refused to block a lower court ruling that prevents the Biden administration from creating a new Enforcement priorities for immigrants Entering the United States or living here illegally.
Instead, the court said it would hear the case in early December.
Judges Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Amy Connie Barrett and Kitangi Brown-Jackson were to agree to the administration’s request to begin implementing revised enforcement priorities, according to a summary order.
This was Jackson’s first vote in a Supreme Court case.
The court rejected an emergency request by the Justice Department to suspend a ruling by a federal judge in Texas that prevented the Department of Homeland Security from focusing law enforcement efforts on undocumented immigrants deemed to be the greatest threat.
A similar directive enforcement policy was in effect during the Obama administration, but it has been replaced by a more aggressive approach during the Trump administration, which has taken the position that a wide range of people here should be illegally deported. Under President Joe Biden, the Department of Homeland Security has sought to restore previous priorities.
Interior Minister Alejandro Mallorcas issued the revised guidance last September. “The fact that an individual is a removable non-citizen alone will not be the basis for enforcement action against him. Department personnel should use their discretion and focus Department enforcement resources in a more targeted manner,” his directive said.
Texas and Louisiana sued to block the revised policy. They said it would require border states to take a greater burden in law enforcement and would put financial strains on state social services budgets.
The states also said the policy would not require the detention of the worst offenders, including those convicted of dishonorable crimes, drug offenders, or human traffickers. Instead, the policy required them to be subjected to the same “analysis of the totality of facts and circumstances” as other undocumented immigrants, attorneys for the states said.
US District Judge Drew Tipton has ruled states, imposing a nationwide injunction preventing the government from implementing the Mallorca policy. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, based in New Orleans, allowed Tipton’s order to remain in place, so the Biden administration requested a moratorium on the Supreme Court.
Attorney General Elizabeth Prilugar said in her emergency shutdown request that the order “disrupts DHS efforts to focus its limited resources on non-citizens who pose the most serious threat to national security, public safety, and the integrity of our nation’s borders.”
The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, based in Cincinnati, rejected a similar policy challenge brought by Arizona, Montana and Ohio. Judge Jeffrey Sutton, writing for the majority, said federal law “gives the national government significant power over immigration policy.”
Prilugar also said that a judge in Texas had mistakenly halted policy across the country. She said that for most of our history, we would never have heard of a suit like this. “Courts have not allowed states to sue the federal government based on the spillover effects of federal policies. Nor have district judges allege they are introducing nationwide relief.”
Nationwide injunctions have long been a concern of the Department of Justice. Prilugar noted that California has filed 122 lawsuits against the Trump administration, and Texas has already filed 27 lawsuits against Biden’s policy actions.
Judicial battles over immigration enforcement policies are frequent, in part because Congress has never provided sufficient resources to detain anyone who enters the United States illegally. The case arose during the just-ended term of the Supreme Court, in defiance of Biden’s efforts to end Trump’s “stay in Mexico” policy. In this case, the court said the administration could take further steps to shut down the program.