Texas sued the U.S. government for ordering a halt to most deportations of undocumented immigrants, the first major lawsuit challenging President Joe Biden’s policies just two days after his term of office, and a likely sign of what is to come from other Republican-led states, according to Newsmax.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton claims that the Homeland Security Directive violated federal law by failing to seek input from the state. Paxton also accused the administration of failing to implement immigration regulations and offering a “blanket amnesty.”
“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 said in the complaint, filed Friday in federal court in Victoria, Texas. “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.”
Biden plans to eventually offer citizenship to nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., which is likely to lead to additional litigation.
In his new lawsuit, the Texas official claims the current administration is failing to remove immigrants even after they’ve had “full and fair” hearings.
“The Constitution, controlling statutes, and prior Executive pledges prevent a seismic change to this country’s immigration laws merely by memorandum,” Paxton said in the suit.
Texas AG Ken Paxton to President Biden: I’ll see you in court, frequently
Ken Paxton vowed Wednesday to vigorously oppose an hours-old Biden administration he labeled as lawless.
Paxton tweeted a message congratulating the new president, saying: “On Inauguration Day, I wish our country the best.” But Paxton accused Biden of preparing to embark on a spree of illegal activity.
“I promise my fellow Texans and Americans that I will fight against the many unconstitutional and illegal actions that the new administration will take, challenge federal overreach that infringes on Texans’ rights, and serve as a major check against the administration’s lawlessness,” Paxton wrote.
He ended his message with: “Texas First! Law and order always!”
‘Illegal Deportation Freeze’
Earlier, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxon said he will sue the Biden administration over its “illegal deportation freeze.”
“Border states like Texas pay a particularly high price when the federal government fails to faithfully execute our country’s immigration laws,” Paxton wrote in a letter. Paxton remarked: “I won’t tolerate unlawful acts from Joe Biden’s administration. Today, I am taking action.”
“The pause will allow DHS to ensure that its resources are dedicated to responding to the most pressing challenges that the United States faces, including immediate operational challenges at the southwest border in the midst of the most serious global public health crisis in a century,” the statement read. “Throughout this interim period DHS will continue to enforce our immigration laws.”
Specifically, the policy will “pause removals” for certain noncitizens who were ordered to be deported.
Acting DHS Secretary David Pekoske in a memorandum (pdf) ordered agencies under the DHS to “review immigration enforcement policies and set interim policies for civil enforcement.”
But Paxton said that the administration is obligated to consult with the state before reducing immigration enforcement measures, according to his letter, which was sent to Pekoske.
“DHS’s failure to provide Texas with pre-implementation notice of the memorandum—combined with its quick implementation of the memorandum—makes waiting impracticable. We require an immediate response or we will seek relief to enjoin your order, as contemplated by the Agreement,” Paxton added.
Biden also on Wednesday released an immigration proposal that would provide an eight-year path to citizenship for about 11 million undocumented aliens living in the U.S.
Paxton’s threat of a lawsuit was supported by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who tweeted: “Biden is trying to halt deportations of illegal aliens who already have a final order of removal from the U.S. This abandons the obligation to enforce federal immigration laws. Texas is fighting this attempt to grant blanket amnesty.