By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed Texas another legal win in an ongoing lawsuit over the Department of Homeland Security’s deportation policy.
Associate Justice Samuel Alito, the Circuit Justice for the Fifth Circuit, denied a request made by the Biden administration to issue a stay of a federal district court’s ruling in favor of Texas. Justice Alito denied the request after the Fifth Circuit denied the same request after a lower court ruling.
Justice Alito granted the administration’s request to have the full Supreme Court hear the case, and he scheduled it for the first week of December.
The lower district court’s nationwide injunction preventing DHS from enforcing its more lax deportation policies remains in effect.
After the decision, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “Texas is handing [President Joe] Biden so many huge losses. First Biden tells DHS they don’t have to detain criminal illegals. Court strikes down. Biden appeals. Loses. Biden goes to SCOTUS. Just now, loses again! Feds MUST detain illegals. I’ll keep fighting in court until they do their job!”
At issue is DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas altering the enforcement of federal immigration law regarding deportation through the issuance of memorandums and directives. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry sued, arguing they violate federal law established by Congress, including the Administrative Procedures Act.
In June, U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a nationwide injunction halting the policy, ruling it was “arbitrary and capricious, contrary to law, and failing to observe procedure under the Administrative Procedure Act.” He also denied all other requested relief brought by the administration.
In December, the justices will hear arguments about whether Texas and Louisiana have standing to challenge the DHS guidance and whether the guidelines are contrary to federal law and violate the APA.
Justice Alito, in his Thursday ruling, said that four justices would have granted the application for a stay on the lower court’s decision: Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Amy Coney Barrett and Ketanji Brown Jackson.
RJ Hauman, communications director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), told The Center Square, “The Biden administration’s move to severely limit immigration enforcement was another in a long line of decisions that sought to worsen – not fix – historic levels of illegal immigration into our country. ICE exists to enforce our immigration laws and keep the American people safe. The enforcement priorities sought to do the opposite.”
The Biden administration has yet to respond to the decision as of publication, however, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar had argued the states hadn’t presented evidence to “justify allowing the district court’s nationwide vacatur to continue in effect for a prolonged period while the court’s disruptive and unprecedented holdings are subject to appellate review.”
Since President Biden’s been in office, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz has calculated that “It would take 14.5 years to deport just the aliens DHS has released under the Biden Administration, when we have near 1.9 million aliens eligible for deportation currently.”
Rep. Gaetz has asked Mr. Mayorkas to explain his plan to comply with federal law to deport those with removal orders.
At a congressional hearing earlier this year, Rep. Gaetz said, “1.2 million people are undetained, free, roaming about the country. They’ve gone before a judge. A judge has issued a final order of removal.
“How many ICE agents do you need to deport them?” he asked Mr. Mayorkas.
Mr. Mayorkas replied, “Congressman I think what we need is legislation to fix the broken immigration system.”
“Since the Biden administration cannot abolish the agency itself, they are dead set on destroying it from within,” Mr. Hauman argues.
According to an investigation by the Washington Examiner, federal prosecutors working for Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been actively dropping deportation cases that don’t comply with Mr. Mayorkas’ directive. So far, they’re on track to “effectively pardon 1 million people by 2024,” its investigation found.
ICE attorneys have been throwing out tens of thousands of at least 2 million backlogged cases currently before immigration courts, its investigation found, which one prosecutor describes as “de facto amnesty.”
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and other attorneys general have called for Mr. Mayorkas to resign. Several congressmen have called for him to be impeached, arguing he’s failed to uphold his constitutional oath and to secure the homeland.