Jun 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Report: Judge blocks Biden policy limiting immigration enforcement

ICE agent badge on September 25, 2019 in Revere, Massachusetts.

Photo: Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

A federal judge in Texas blocked a Biden administration policy that limited who authorities can arrest and deport, NPR reports.

Why it matters: The Biden administration's policy directed immigration authorities to prioritize serious threats to national security and people who recently crossed the border.

Details: Federal Judge Drew Tipton sided with the states of Texas and Louisiana, which argued that the Department of Homeland Security's policy prevented immigration authorities from enforcing the law, NPR reports.

  • "The Executive Branch may prioritize its resources. But it must do so within the bounds set by Congress," Tipton wrote, per NPR. "Using the words 'discretion' and 'prioritization,' the Executive Branch claims the authority to suspend statutory mandates. The law does not sanction this approach."

Catch up quick: In September, the Biden administration issued new rules for immigration arrests, calling on U.S. officials to focus on immigrants who were national security threats, as well as migrants who recently crossed the border illegally, CBS News reports.

  • Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a memo that the policy would be a major shift for the country.
  • The Trump administration held a "zero tolerance" immigration policy, NPR reports.

What we're watching: Judge Drew Tipton stayed his order for seven days, which will give the Biden administration a chance to appeal.

The big picture: Tipton, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, previously blocked Biden’s 100-day moratorium on most deportations.

  • Tipton's office did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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