January 26, 2021
In the first blow to Biden’s immigration agenda, a federal judge blocks a 100-day pause on deportations (The New York Times) – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Tuesday issued a 14-day nationwide temporary restraining order sought by the state’s attorney general that would prevent carrying out the policy, which was issued by the Homeland Security Department within hours of President Biden’s inauguration. The order will remain in effect until the judge has considered a broader motion for a preliminary injunction.
The judge, Drew B. Tipton, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, said in his ruling that the suspension of deportations would violate a provision of the immigration statute as well as another law that required agencies to provide a rational explanation for their policy decisions. The immigration law states that people with final orders of removal from the United States must be deported within 90 days. The court held that the 100-day pause violated that requirement and that the mandatory language of the immigration law should not be “neutered by the federal government’s broad discretion.”
The court also held that the agency’s memorandum violated a separate law that required agencies to provide a logical and rational reason for their policy changes. The judge determined that the Homeland Security Department had run afoul of the Administrative Procedure Act because it failed to supply adequate justification for the temporary suspension of deportations.
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