Is federal judge right to block Biden’s 100-day deportation moratorium?
- Joseph R. Biden, Jr. was inaugurated as the 46th president on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.
- On Biden’s first day in office, he rejoined the Paris Accords as well as the WHO, ordered a federal mask mandate, ended the Trump-era travel ban, as well as 13 other orders.
- In a memo signed January 20th by incoming Department of Homeland Security David Pekoske, the Biden administration called for a “100-day pause” on removals of “any noncitizen present in the United States when this directive takes effect.”
- On January 22, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for violating the Constitution by pausing lawful deportations, which violates federal and immigration law, as well as the agreement between the State of Texas and the DHS.
- On January 26, Texas Federal Judge Drew Tipton issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the Biden administration’s “100-day pause on the removal of aliens already subject to a final Order of Removal.”
President Biden's 100-day moratorium on deportations is designed to be a 'review of policies and practices throughout the department and its components.' This review is meant to be temporary, with departments investigating whether their practices are fair, productive, and humane. Knowing that deportations can cause irrevocable harm to families and often put migrants in great peril for their health and safety, the Biden Administration has wisely decided to put a temporary halt on removals to make sure that more harm isn't done during this transitional period. To block the moratorium is to endanger these migrants, and Federal Judge Drew Tipton is wrong to do so. This is particularly true during the pandemic when sending people across an international border could increase transmission risk. A new administration with drastically different immigration priorities has been elected, and while these new policies may be disagreeable to some, it is wrong to abuse the judicial system to overrule the will of the people.
In requesting the restraining order which would halt the moratorium, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton described how allowing these individuals to stay would cause the state to 'suffer imminent and irreparable harm' and '…immediately endanger our citizens and law enforcement personnel.' At best, this claim references dubious claims that illegal immigrants cause crime at high rates; at worst, it's outright racist, insinuating that allowing these people, who are already here to stay, will cause such havoc. Further, the moratorium only lasts for one-hundred days; it's unlikely that the state of Texas will crumble in such a short time.
Federal District Judge Drew Tipton was right to issue a restraining order on Tuesday to prevent Biden’s attempt to institute a 100-day moratorium on deportations of illegal immigrants. Judge Tipton cited the lack of “any concrete, reasonable justification” for the moratorium. In fact, the Homeland Security memo used to publicize Biden’s proposed immigration policy change mentions “limited resources” as the reason for halting deportations. So, arguably the most crucial obligation of Homeland Security—upholding the law and ensuring that illegal aliens be deported—is now suspended due to “limited resources”? Biden’s proposed policy change is absurd and illegal.
Biden has a Constitutional obligation to uphold federal laws. If he wishes to strike down an existing law, he needs to influence Congress to introduce legislation that modifies or repeals it. The Constitution is quite clear about the separation of powers. The making of legislation is reserved for Congress, not the Executive Branch.
Biden’s repositioning to the left on immigration policy is a nod to Progressives, who supported his candidacy despite his perceived reluctance to embrace most of their radical agenda. By turning away from Trump’s strong stance on enforcing existing immigration laws, Biden is strengthening his Progressive credentials. Biden likely also sees a potential Democratic windfall of 11 million new voters if Congress passes another of his immigration reforms (i.e., providing amnesty to illegal immigrants already living in the USA). Judge Tipton was prudent in rejecting Biden’s cynical attempt to sidestep Congress and install his ill-conceived plan to halt illegal immigrant deportations. Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of more restrictive immigration policies, especially during the current pandemic.