Among the various executive actions taken by President Joe Biden during the first days of his administration was an order including a 100-day moratorium on deportations of undocumented immigrants.
That memorandum was challenged in federal court, however, and resulted in a 14-day temporary restraining order from a Texas judge who further indicated that he would extend the order to block Biden’s deportation pause for at least an entire month.
Details of judge’s ruling
Biden’s executive order was one of several actions taken in the advancement of his vow to usher in a new federal stance on immigration reform and law enforcement.
Despite his efforts, however, the recent court ruling means that those already ordered to be deported by an immigration judge must still be returned to their nations of origin in a timely manner — at least for the next several weeks.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, U.S. District Court Judge Drew Tipton announced on Friday his addition of another two weeks to an initial 14-day restraining order blocking the administration from unilaterally pausing all deportations for 100 days.
Tipton’s ruling will block Biden’s order from going into effect until at least Feb. 23, which the judge said was intended to provide sufficient time for the full consideration of all the various constitutional and legal issues at play in the lawsuit.
The judge also posed questions to representatives on both sides of the dispute.
“A much-needed remedy”
First, he asked about an agreement between Texas and the Trump administration to require the Department of Homeland Security to provide 180 days’ notice before changing any immigration enforcement procedures.
Tipton also asked whether the pause in deportation would result in the release of undocumented immigrants with criminal records or charges who are currently being detained.
The judge, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, granted Texas its requested restraining order based on the belief that the state had a “substantial likelihood of success” in arguing two of the claims presented by Ken Paxton, the state’s attorney general.
According to the complaint, the first claim pertains to the fact that immigration laws state that the DHS “shall remove” within 90 days any immigrant ordered to be deported. The second relates to the belief that the Biden administration had “arbitrarily and capriciously departed from its previous policy without sufficient explanation” in instituting the 100-day moratorium.
Paxton released a statement following the initial court ruling, declaring: “The Court’s decision to stop the Biden Administration from casting aside congressionally enacted immigration laws is a much-needed remedy for DHS’s unlawful action. A near-complete suspension of deportations would only serve to endanger Texans and undermine federal law.”