Texas Judge Extends Ruling Blocking Biden’s 100-Day Pause on Deportations

A federal judge issued a second ruling that blocked the Biden administration’s planned 100-day pause on most deportations, saying the approach was legally flawed.

U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton of the Southern District of Texas, in a decision issued late Tuesday night, said the administration hadn’t offered a reasonable explanation for an across-the-board pause that left little room for considering deportations on a case-by-case basis.

The Biden administration on Jan. 20, its first day, announced the 100-day deportation moratorium, and the Department of Homeland Security began enforcing the pause on Jan. 22.

Judge Tipton said the new administration was entitled to leeway to formulate its enforcement priorities and review the Trump administration’s immigration policies, “but a need to assess priorities does not necessarily mean a pause on government functions.”

The judge, a Trump appointee, issued a temporary restraining order last month that initially blocked the policy, but those orders are short in duration. In the latest move, he issued a preliminary injunction against the pause, which will block it indefinitely.

A White House spokesman said that the Biden administration “will bring order and humanity to our immigration enforcement system,” and that the court’s ruling still allows it to revisit the Trump administration’s practices. The spokesman said DHS would be issuing finalized enforcement priorities.

The case was brought by Texas Attorney General

Ken Paxton,

a Republican. Mr. Paxton on Twitter called the ruling a “huge win.”

As part of its argument, Texas had cited an agreement with DHS, signed in the waning days of the Trump administration, requiring the department to consult the state before making any changes to immigration policy. Judge Tipton didn’t address the agreement in his ruling.

Similar agreements were signed with several other states.

President Biden has proposed a comprehensive immigration-reform plan. But as WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib explains, he faces an uphill climb that could be even tougher than what previous administrations faced. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann

Write to Brent Kendall at brent.kendall@wsj.com

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Source: WSJ – US News

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