A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden’s attempt to put a moratorium on deportations for 100 days.
After Texas sued over the policy, the judge blocked Biden, via a temporary restraining order, from moving forward for 14 days.
Texas’ lawsuit claims that the administration would be violating an agreement it has with the Department of Homeland Security – and would require at least 180 days’ notice, as well as consultation, prior to implementing changes in immigration policy. It is unclear whether those terms are enforceable, but similar agreements were struck with several other states under the former administration.
The U.S. district judge implemented a nationwide injunction because a geographically-limited order would not adequately protect Texas’ interests due to “the free flow of movement” of illegal aliens from other states.
Fox News exclusively reported over the weekend that an email sent last week to ICE officers called for stopping “all removals” and to “release them [undocumented immigrants] all, immediately.”
Biden has pledged to move forward with a moratorium on deportations as his administration resets its approach toward U.S. immigration following the change in administration.
Noncitizens who have engaged in, or who are suspected to have engaged in, terrorism and espionage can still be deported.
The moratorium – which took effect on Friday – also does not apply to persons who were not physically present in the U.S. as of Nov. 1, 2020.
“We’re confident that as the case proceeds, it will be clear that this measure was wholly appropriate in ordering a temporary pause to allow the agency to carefully review its policies, procedures, and enforcement priorities – while allowing for a greater focus on threats to public safety and national security,” a White House spokesman said. “President Biden remains committed to taking immediate action to reform our immigration system to ensure it’s upholding American values while keeping our communities safe.”
The Biden administration was planning to announce further guidance on the issue by Feb. 1.