Originally Published in CNN
Priscilla Alvarez - February 24, 2021
Just days into Joe Biden's presidency, Judge Drew Tipton of the Southern District of Texas, a Trump appointee, blocked the administration's 100-day pause on deportations, delivering a blow to one of Biden's first immigration actions.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, filed a lawsuit arguing
, in part, that the deportation moratorium violated an agreement signed between the Department of Homeland Security and Texas in the waning days of the Trump presidency that required the department to consult the state before changing or modifying policies.
Tipton initially blocked the pause for a 14-day period, then again until Tuesday, when he issued a ruling halting the moratorium nationwide while the case proceeds.
"In the instant case, the January 20 Memorandum and the corresponding administrative record fail to indicate the appropriateness and rationality of DHS's 'path' in implementing a 100- day pause on removals. In other words, the Court, even with additional briefing and the administrative record at its disposal, still cannot discern how DHS's stated concerns are logically connected with -- let alone 'determinative' of -- the action taken, the 100-day pause," Tipton wrote in a 105-page ruling.
The Biden moratorium, outlined in a January 20 memo
, covered most deportations but excluded individuals who came to the US after November 1, are suspected of terrorism or espionage or pose a danger to national security, have waived rights to remain in the US or who've been determined removable by the acting director.
The moratorium, the administration argued, allowed the Department of Homeland Security time to review the agency's policies. While Tipton's ruling is a blow to Biden's pledge to temporarily halt deportations, it doesn't affect Immigration and Customs Enforcement's new enforcement priorities.
Last week, the agency rolled out guidance that curtails enforcement measures, focusing more narrowly on immigrants who pose a national security, border security or public safety risk.