A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer is reviewing immigration documents when a Honduran asylum seeker arrives at the Mexico-United States International Bridge next to the border town of Matamoros, Mexico, on December 9, 2019.
John Moore | Getty Images
A federal judge on Tuesday suspended President Joe Biden’s efforts to suspend deportations from the United States during his first 100 days in office for two weeks in an attempt to deal an early legal blow to the new president’s immigration agenda.
U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton joined the state of Texas in arguing that a January 20 memorandum issued by acting Secretary of State for Homeland Security David Pekoske, freezing deportations, is illegal.
In an 18-page order, Tipton wrote that the Biden Administration memorandum likely exceeds the authority of the Administration and that it may violate federal laws that govern administrative process.
The memorandum, he wrote, “not only takes into account potential guidelines, which are more limited in scope and time, but also does not provide any concrete, reasonable justification for a 100-day deportation break.”
Tipton said Texas has produced evidence that the Biden government order would harm it, including paying “welfare and uncompensated health care and other government-provided benefits” to undocumented immigrants.
The Biden government, however, has not proven that it would harm, he wrote.
“Defendants are free to make a” measured and deliberate assessment “of immigration policy regardless of the 100-day break in the January 20 memorandum,” wrote Tipton.
Tipton was appointed to the Bundesbank by former President Donald Trump.
The verdict comes as Biden rushes to sign a series of executive measures on issues such as racial justice and Covid-19 in his first ten days in office.
The former vice president has acknowledged that the more ambitious elements of his agenda – including immigration reform – will require cooperation from Congress.
The White House and Department of Homeland Security did not immediately return requests for comment.
Tipton wrote that his order will last for 14 days as Texas and the Biden administration continue to litigate the matter.
The Texas lawsuit is led by Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has vowed to aggressively challenge the Biden administration in court.
Paxton declared the victory in a post on Twitter.
“Texas is the FIRST state in the nation to bring a lawsuit against the Biden Admin. AND WE WON,” wrote Paxton. “Within 6 days of Biden’s inauguration, Texas halted its illegal deportation freeze.”
He added, “* This * was a seditious left wing uprising. And my team and I stopped it.”
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