The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court just handed President Joe Biden and his administration a big win with regard to federal immigration policy.
Fox News reports that the justices "found that Republican states did not have standing to challenge a narrowing of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) priorities for arrests and deportations of illegal immigrants."
The ruling was 8 to 1, with Justice Samuel Alito being the lone dissenter.
The case is U.S. v. Texas.
The case regards the new immigration enforcement guidelines of Biden's U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The guidelines were implemented after the Biden administration attempted to place a month-long moratorium on all deportations of illegal immigrants by ICE. What the guidelines do, instead, is limit the type of illegal immigrants whom ICE can arrest and deport.
Under the guidelines, ICE is instructed to target three groups of illegal immigrants for arrest and deportation, namely, those illegal immigrants who recently crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, those who are a threat to public safety, and those who are a threat to national security.
The Biden administration claimed that this cutback was necessary considering the limited resources that the United States has to address the southern border crisis. The administration claimed that, by restricting arrests and deportations to these three categories, ICE would be making the most efficient use of these limited resources.
But, critics disagreed. Rather, they saw the new guidelines as another Biden immigration policy aimed at opening up the border. And so, Texas and Louisiana decided to challenge the guidelines in court.
As indicated above, the case ended up at the Supreme Court. And, the justices have found in favor of the Biden administration - albeit on procedural grounds. The court found that, procedurally, Texas and Louisana do not have the type of interest in the matter needed to challenge the matter in court.
The majority opinion was written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
In sum, the States have brought an extraordinarily unusual lawsuit. They want a federal court to order the Executive Branch to alter its arrest policies so as to make more arrests. Federal courts have not traditionally entertained that kind of lawsuit; indeed, the States cite no precedent for a lawsuit like this.
Justice Alito, in his dissent, however, said that there is "a major precedent that directly controls the standing question" and he criticized the majority for not applying it.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is celebrating the ruling. He quickly put out a statement saying that the DHS "looks forward to reinstituting these Guidelines."