After Letting Hundreds Of Thousands In, DHS Now Says They'll Abide By Court Order

By Emanuel Eisen | Monday, 27 June 2022 05:15
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The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday said that it will take a court ruling that struck down the Biden administration’s quite narrowed priorities for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — saying agents will make decisions on a "case-by-case" basis as its plea is heard.

"While the Department strongly disagrees with the Southern District of Texas’s court decision to vacate the Guidelines, DHS will abide by the court’s order as it continues to appeal it," DHS said in a statement.

The statement is in reaction to a sentence from Texas Judge Drew Tipton earlier this month that dismissed the Biden administration’s memo that restricts which illegal immigrants the agency can arrest and deport. Tipton put a stay for seven days which is now expired, and the administration is appealing the ruling.

"During the appeals process, ICE agents and officers will make enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis in a professional and responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement officials and in a way that best protects against the greatest threats to the homeland," DHS said.

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The September memo, which solidified temporary guidance issued in Feb. 2021, restricted agents to focus on recent border crossers, threats to national security, and those with certain "aggravated" felonies.

"The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen, therefore, should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them," DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in the memo. "We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way. Justice and our country's well-being require it."

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Under the policy, detentions and evictions have dropped. In FY 2021, which included the final months of the Trump administration, ICE arrested 74,082 noncitizens and deported 59,011. Of the 74,082 arrests between October 2020 and October 2021, only 47,755 took place after Feb. 18 when the new priorities were implemented. Of removals, just 28,677 of the 59,011 deportations took place after Feb. 18.

 SALMAN RUSHDIE IN CRITICAL CONDITION WHILE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION STILL PLACATES IRANIAN REGIMEbell_image

In FY 2020, there were 103,603 arrests and 185,884 removals. In FY 2019 the agency arrested 143,099 illegal immigrants and deported 267,258.

Texas and Louisiana sued over the memo, and Tipton in his ruling agreed with the states that the government fell short in reconciling the guidance with federal law, which demands the detention in certain situations.

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He said the government "offers an implausible construction of federal law that flies in the face of the limitations imposed by Congress."

"True, the Executive Branch has case-by-case discretion to abandon immigration enforcement as to a particular individual, he said. "This case, however, does not involve individualized decision-making. Instead, this case is about a rule that binds Department of Homeland Security officials in a generalized, prospective manner—all in contravention of Congress’s detention mandate."

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