After President Joe Biden freezed deportations of illegal immigrants for the first one hundred days of his administration, the state of Texas has sued the federal government, citing an agreement made between the state and the Department of Homeland Security in the waning days of the Trump administration. In sweeping efforts to reverse Trump era border policy, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warns the freeze will “endanger our citizens and law enforcement personnel.”
The decision to temporarily halt deportations was made “to ensure we have a fair and effective immigration enforcement system focused on protecting national security, border security, and public safety,” according to a DHS news release this week.
Paxton, who filed the lawsuit, argues that Biden’s policy violates an agreement signed by acting deputy secretary for the DHS Ken Cuccinelli that requires the federal government to convene with the state before implementing immigration policy, a demand the Biden administration failed to honor.
“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 states. “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.”
Paxton’s lawsuit claims that, if left unchallenged, the DHS could perpetually re-assert the freeze on deportations, artificially enacting a total amnesty period for illegal immigrants and putting American citizens at risk without the capability to deport known dangers to society.
“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,” the lawsuit explains. “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.”
Though major immigration reform has been tried and failed by each of the last three Presidential administrations, President Biden has established passing his massive immigration bill as a priority for his administration, which includes the one hundred day freeze of deportations.
“The president’s priority reflected in the bill [is] to responsibly manage the border, keep families together, grow our economy, address the root causes of migration from Central America, and ensure that America can remain a refuge for those fleeing [persecution],” press secretary Jen Psaki said.