A federal judge in Texas temporarily barred an executive order issued by President Joe Biden to halt the deportation of certain immigrants for 100 days.
U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, appointed former President Donald Trump, issued a temporary restraining order on January 26, blocking Biden’s nationwide policy for 14 days after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton challenged it in court.
The order is a setback to the Biden administration, which has proposed far-reaching changes, including a plan to legalize some 11 million illegal undocumented immigrants living in the United States. The administration also issued an order last week to stop all construction of the U.S.–Mexico border wall.
During the four-year term of office of former President Donald Trump, Democrats and Immigration activists have often filed lawsuits to stop Trump’s construction of the border wall, among other immigration provisions. With Paxton’s lawsuit, the Republicans are likely to do the same—especially with hundreds of judges appointed by Trump during his term of office.
Paxton hailed the victory, saying on Twitter, “Texas is the FIRST state in the nation to bring a lawsuit against the Biden Admin. AND WE WON.”
“Within 6 days of Biden’s inauguration, Texas has HALTED his illegal deportation freeze. *This* was a seditious left-wing insurrection,” the Republican said. “And my team and I stopped it.
David Pekoske, acting Secretary of Homeland Security, issued a directive on January 20 directing authorities to focus on national security and public security threats, as well as anyone who was taken into custody after entering the U.S. illegally after November 1.
The Biden administration argued in court that Paxton’s lawsuit is unenforceable because “an outgoing administration cannot contract away that power for an incoming administration.”
Pekoske had said the deportation freeze would allow the DHS to “ensure that its resources are dedicated to responding to the most pressing challenges that the United States faces.” That includes the “immediate operational challenges at the southwest border in the midst of the most serious global public health crisis in a century,” he said.
“Throughout this interim period, DHS will continue to enforce our immigration laws.”
But last week, Paxton, a Republican, said that before making his immigration policy changes, the DHS failed to consult with Texas, as required by an agreement between Texas and the agency.
“Border states like Texas pay a particularly high price when the federal government fails to faithfully execute our country’s immigration laws,” Paxton said last week, adding that an “attempted halt on almost all deportations would increase the cost to Texas caused by illegal immigration.”
Like Paxton, several former Trump DHS officials expressed alarm in recent days over Biden’s orders to rescind some immigration rules.
“With the stroke of a pen, President Biden made this country less safe,” former U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told Breitbart News on Jan. 23. “It’s pure politics over public safety.”
Separately, a Democratic member of the Congress confirmed that the construction of the border wall along the U.S.–Mexico border was to be halted on 26 January, according to one of Biden’s orders.