Texas Attorney General Ken Paxon said he will sue the Biden administration over its “illegal deportation freeze.”
“Border states like Texas pay a particularly high price when the federal government fails to faithfully execute our country’s immigration laws,” Paxton wrote in a letter. Paxton remarked: “I won’t tolerate unlawful acts from Joe Biden’s administration. Today, I am taking action.”
It came after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said the Biden administration would pause deportations for some illegal immigrants for 100 days.
“The pause will allow DHS to ensure that its resources are dedicated to responding to the most pressing challenges that the United States faces, including immediate operational challenges at the southwest border in the midst of the most serious global public health crisis in a century,” the statement read. “Throughout this interim period DHS will continue to enforce our immigration laws.”
Specifically, the policy will “pause removals” for certain noncitizens who were ordered to be deported.
Acting DHS Secretary David Pekoske in a memorandum (pdf) ordered agencies under the DHS to “review immigration enforcement policies and set interim policies for civil enforcement.”
But Paxton said that the administration is obligated to consult with the state before reducing immigration enforcement measures, according to his letter, which was sent to Pekoske.
“DHS’s failure to provide Texas with pre-implementation notice of the memorandum—combined with its quick implementation of the memorandum—makes waiting impracticable. We require an immediate response or we will seek relief to enjoin your order, as contemplated by the Agreement,” Paxton added.
Pekoske’s memo stipulated that deportations can continue under certain circumstances, including individuals who pose a threat to national security, anyone who was convicted of an aggravated felony and released from prison and who has been determined to be a security threat, and anyone who illegally entered the United States after Nov. 1.
“Due to limited resources, DHS cannot respond to all immigration violations or remove all persons unlawfully in the United States,” Pekoske added. “DHS must implement civil immigration enforcement based on sensible priorities and changing circumstances. DHS’s civil immigration enforcement priorities are protecting national security, border security, and public safety.”
Biden also on Wednesday released an immigration proposal that would provide an eight-year path to citizenship for about 11 million undocumented aliens living in the U.S.
Paxton’s threat of a lawsuit was supported by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who tweeted: “Biden is trying to halt deportations of illegal aliens who already have a final order of removal from the U.S. This abandons the obligation to enforce federal immigration laws. Texas is fighting this attempt to grant blanket amnesty.”
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