Following his promise on Thursday to hold the current administration accountable, Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, filed a Federal lawsuit against the Biden administration for his deportation moratorium on illegal aliens. Hours after President Biden was inaugurated, acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske issued a memo that halts the deportation of illegal aliens. At the same time, the incoming administration takes stock of U.S. immigration policies and practices.
“The United States faces significant operational challenges at the southwest border as it is confronting the most serious global public health crisis in a century. In light of those unique circumstances, the Department must surge resources to the border in order to ensure safe, legal and orderly processing, to rebuild fair and effective asylum procedures that respect human rights and due process, to adopt appropriate public health guidelines and protocols, and to prioritize responding to threats to national security, public safety, and border security.”
In his letter on Thursday, Paxton stands up for Texans who are particularly vulnerable to the influx of illegals due to its border with Mexico:
“Border states like Texas pay a particularly high price when the federal government fails to faithfully execute our country’s immigration laws. Your attempted halt on almost all deportations would increase the cost to Texas caused by illegal immigration. DHS itself has previously acknowledged that such a “pause on . . . removals” will cause “concrete injuries to Texas.”
Friday, he made good on the promise with an emergency application for a temporary restraining order to maintain the status quo. Paxton then followed with his filing of a Federal lawsuit in the U.S. Court in the Southern District of Texas.
They didn’t budge.
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) January 22, 2021
The lawsuit alleges that “the Biden Administration cast aside congressionally enacted immigration laws and suspended the removal of illegal aliens whose removal is compelled by those very laws. In doing so, it ignored basic constitutional principles and violated its written pledge to work cooperatively with the State of Texas to address shared immigration enforcement concerns.” He maintains that such action will cause immediate and irreparable harm to the state.
The complaint highlights that the current administration seeks to halt even the removal of illegal aliens “whose removal was ordered following a full and fair hearing and those who are not entitled—and do not claim to be entitled—to further immigration benefits.” Paxton says, if left unchallenged, this could lead to “longer periods of suspension of deportation that could result in granting blanket amnesty” to the group.
Paxton cites the Federal Statute, U.S.C. § 1231, which refers to the law that states, “when an alien is ordered removed, the Attorney General shall remove the alien from the United States within a period of 90 days.” Therefore, the Jan. 20 memorandum prevents DHS from complying with the law. The statute does not empower the DHS to change the deportation time frame. Rather, only the “actions of the alien” can change that time frame.
Several other concerns arise from the proposed moratorium on deportations of illegal aliens. Because it is a blanket proposal, it fails to account for individual circumstances. It also seeks to “ignore final orders of removal” that have already been set in motion. Furthermore, the lawsuit asserts that there is no mention of the added costs to the state of Texas that will surely be incurred due to the moratorium.
Paxton plans to continue to hold the Biden administration accountable whenever it breaks the law. He says, “As AG, I will always put Americans, Texans first—not dangerous aliens who must be deported!”