GOP states step up legal battles over Biden’s immigration policies

As the Biden administration works quickly to overturn key Trump-era border and immigration policies and replace them with more liberal ones, Republican attorneys general are working just as hard to push back what they see as actions. illegal acts that could harm Americans. and put them in danger.

“As an attorney general, I have certain tools in my toolbox, and I said I would do my best to uphold the rule of law and protect hard-working American taxpayers,” said the Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich in an interview with Fox News.


Arizona currently has multiple avenues of litigation that it pursues over legal and illegal immigration. One of those is a lawsuit, with Missouri, over the Administration’s Restricted Domestic Enforcement Guidelines for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

These guidelines, released in February, restrict enforcement priorities to recent border crossings, threats to national security and “aggravated crimes”. Although people outside these categories are not excluded from arrest or deportation, officers need the prior approval of superiors to arrest them.

This directive for ICE was issued after Texas sued the Biden administration over an initial plan to impose a 100-day moratorium on evictions. Texas won the lawsuit and earlier this month the Biden administration announced it had abandoned the policy after the 100-day period – marking the first legal victory for GOP states.


“This is a great victory for Texas and the nation. It sends a clear message to the Biden administration that they will not be able to violate federal immigration law and endanger the lives of Texans. Texas AG Ken Paxton said in a statement last week. . “The failed policies of this administration have only exacerbated the crisis on our southern border, and further exhausted the regular duties of our law enforcement officers.”

“This is a great victory for Texas and the nation. It sends a clear message to the Biden administration that they cannot violate federal immigration law and endanger the lives of Texans.”

– Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at a press conference in Austin, Texas on May 1, 2018. (Associated Press)

After abolishing the moratorium on deportation, states now hope to shut down other parts of Biden’s immigration program – including the ICE rules, they say, amount to the same policy as the moratorium on expulsion. The new ICE guidelines coincided with a dramatic decrease in arrests and deportations, and the discovery process sparked by the trial led to the publication of an email that showed ICE officials predicted that ‘such a drop in arrests would occur.

Deposits begin

As part of this, states were also able to start testifying officials, whose first depositions were released this month – including a Official ICE saying that the reason for the reduced enforcement was not due to limited resources, as the administration had claimed.

Texas, Arizona and Missouri have also targeted the Biden administration’s withdrawal of Migrant Protection Protocols (MPPs) – a Trump-era policy that kept migrants in Mexico pending their hearings. Critics called it cruel and left the migrants in danger, while supporters said it reduced the pull factors that brought them north.

That state effort recently consisted of filing a preliminary injunction and asking the Supreme Court to intervene in the lawsuit.


“We are asking the court to side with our office and issue a preliminary injunction, which would force the Biden administration to reinstate migrant protection protocols,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt told Fox News. “My office will never give up on fighting human trafficking and making sure the six million Missourians are safe.”

“My office will never give up on fighting human trafficking and making sure the six million Missourians are safe.”

– Eric Schmitt, Attorney General of Missouri

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks at a press conference in Washington, DC, September 9, 2019 (Getty Images)

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks at a press conference in Washington, DC, September 9, 2019 (Getty Images)

The contention of states that oppose the ICE guidelines and the dismantling of the MPP is that they are not only illegal, but that they are fueling the crisis on the southern border and putting Americans at risk by freeing or by keeping criminal illegal immigrants in the territory. streets. They also claim that it increases costs such as healthcare, education, and public aid in their states.

“In practice, the result of what the Biden administration is doing, it literally reduces the number of people deported, the number of arrests and it literally means people who are dangerous, people who are criminals are released into our communities. , so it’s a threat to every neighborhood and every person, ”Brnovich said.

“People who are dangerous, criminals are released in our communities, so it is a threat to every neighborhood and every person.”

– Mark Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General

Separately, a coalition of 11 Republican states sought to intervene to defend the Trump-era public charge rule – which banned green cards for legal immigrants with temporary visas deemed likely to be on welfare. The rule was challenged in a lawsuit under the Trump administration. The lawsuit against the Biden administration, which refused to defend the rule, arguing that it “is neither in the public interest nor in an efficient use of limited government resources.”

Other lawsuits

Meanwhile, Texas has launched other lawsuits, including suing the administration for increasing the risk of COVID-19 by allowing thousands of migrants to enter, often at crowded facilities.

“Instead of using the authority of the CDC to prevent the introduction of covered aliens into the United States during a pandemic, the defendants chose to take action that resulted in the release of tens of thousands of aliens in the United States. Texas and the United States, ”the lawsuit said. “In the absence of court intervention, these communiques will continue for the foreseeable future.”

Texas and Louisiana both continued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earlier this month for his alleged refusal to detain criminal illegal immigrants, under ICE interim guidelines.

Arizona has also filed a lawsuit over the Biden administration ending construction of the border wall, claiming the result has been environmental damage as hundreds of thousands of migrants make the journey and cause environmental damage. along the way.

The legal push by the Republican states is in many ways a setback to what the Democratic states did under the Trump administration – launching numerous lawsuits against Trump-era policies, particularly on immigration. These efforts have consistently succeeded in smoothing out the wheels of politics.


Brnovich says it’s different this time around because it’s not about the difference in policy but about the legality of what he says is an effort by the Biden administration to unilaterally draft the law.

“I start with the basic basic principle that the rule of law has to make sense, and if people don’t like the law or don’t like a policy, in this country we have elections, you change leadership and you can change the laws, ”he said.“ But no one, and especially the president, is a king or a dictator, they cannot unilaterally write the law and I believe at a fundamental level that l The Biden administration is literally ignoring the law, and there is a fundamental fundamental question of whether the President of the United States should be able to do so – and we obviously think “no.” “

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About Louis Foulds

Louis Foulds

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