Upon entering the White House, President Joe Biden ordered a thorough review of existing immigration policies and procedures, prompting the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security to issue a memo that called for a 100-day pause on nearly all deportations of noncitizens with final orders for removal.
Of course, the move drew widespread pushback, including in the form of a Texas lawsuit and a federal judge’s subsequent decision to issue a preliminary injunction this week against the implementation of the deportation pause.
Texas files suit
In a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the state argued that a 100-day moratorium on deportations was unconstitutional and also violated a contract between Texas and the DHS that required consultation on immigration law changes, Breitbart reported.
Furthermore, Paxton asserted that the “unlawful” action would lead to massive financial harm to his state.
U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton agreed with the arguments, initially issuing a 14-day temporary restraining order. That order was since extended for an additional two weeks to allow time for briefs to be filed and the merits of the case to be considered.
Tipton was unpersuaded by arguments by the federal government, as evidenced in a lengthy ruling on Wednesday that detailed the negative financial impact the pause would likely cause in Texas.
His decision also transformed the temporary restraining order into an injunction that would remain in place until the case had been fully resolved or the injunction itself was overturned by another court.
Tipton extends initial order
In his ruling, Tipton wrote: “Defendants and their respective officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and other persons who are in active concert or participation with them are hereby ENJOINED and RESTRAINED from enforcing and implementing the policies described in the January 20 Memorandum in Section C entitled ‘Immediate 100-DAY Pause on Removals.”
The judge granted the preliminary injunction “on a nationwide basis,” prohibiting its “enforcement and implementation” wherever the defendants “have jurisdiction to enforce and implement the January 20 Memorandum.”
Tipton’s determination did not, however, block the Biden administration from proceeding with other aspects outlined in Biden’s memo.
The decision marked a clear win for Paxton and others opposed to the proposed deportation pause, though ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project attorney Cody Wofsy asserted that his organization is determined to keep fighting.
In a statement following Tipton’s ruling, Wofsy wrote: “This ruling is legally wrong and will seriously harm families and communities around the country. Texas’ suit is an attempt to deprive the Biden administration of a meaningful opportunity to review and assess immigration enforcement after years of living under lawless Trump policies.”