President Biden was dealt another political blow by the Supreme Court on Thursday when it refused to restore his immigration policy that limited who DHS authorities could arrest and deport.
In a 5 to 4 vote, the high court opted to keep former President Trump’s policy in place concerning the removal of illegal immigrants, regardless of criminal history or community ties.
Biden’s policy that was issued by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last autumn ordered the deportation of illegal aliens who pose the greatest national security or public safety risk. The directive ordered officials to pause deportation unless individuals had committed acts of terrorism, espionage, or “egregious threats to public safety.”
Mayorkas argued that “the fact an individual is a removable noncitizen” should not be the only deciding factor for immigration officers to take action against them.
Decision is 5-4, with Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, Barrett and Jackson in dissent pic.twitter.com/DzG5VFmZt0
— Andrew Chung (@andrew_chung_) July 21, 2022
“We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way,” he put forth in a September memorandum that implemented the directive. “Justice and our country’s well-being require it.”
In June, a Texas judge blocked Biden’s order, asserting that the directive was unlawful and the administration had overstepped its “bounds set by Congress,” according to the Daily Mail.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump-era policy would remain in place nationwide. However, they will hear oral arguments on it during the first week of December.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett surprisingly sided with liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson in favor of Biden’s policy. This is Jackson’s first ruling since she became a justice following the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer.
He’ll ignore the SCOTUS just like Obama would, and do whatever he feels like.
— 1984 Is Today (@Tribble_Bait) July 22, 2022
A federal appeals court in Cincinnati overturned a district judge’s order in early July that put the policy on hold in a lawsuit filed by Arizona, Ohio, and Montana.
But in another lawsuit filed by Texas and Louisiana, a federal judge in Texas ordered a nationwide halt to the directive, and a federal appellate panel in New Orleans decided not to intervene.
Texas and Louisiana argued in their Supreme Court filing that the administration’s policy violates a federal law that requires the detention of people who are in the U.S. illegally and who have been convicted of serious crimes. They claim they would be forced to cover the additional costs of detaining people the federal government might release within the United States, even if they have a criminal record.
The judge’s order amounted to a “nationwide, judicially imposed overhaul of the Executive Branch’s enforcement priorities,” Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote in a court filing. She is the Biden administration’s leading Supreme Court attorney.
The judge’s order “is disrupting DHS’s efforts to focus its limited resources on the noncitizens who pose the gravest threat to national security, public safety, and the integrity of our Nation’s borders,” Prelogar wrote in the Supreme Court filing.
The SCOTUS ruling comes less than a month after the court voted in favor of Biden ending a Trump-era policy that allowed migrants to be sent back to Mexico to await immigration proceedings.
The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) were meant to slow or stop the flow of illegal immigrants at the border and throughout the country as they were released pending immigration hearings.
NEW: Per CBP data, out of more than 239,000 encounters with migrants in the month of May, only 1,613 were placed into the Remain in Mexico program (MPP/Migrant Protection Protocols).
Of the 1.5 million + encounters since October, only 4,066 have been placed in MPP. @FoxNews
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) June 20, 2022
I recently joined Rep. Carlos Gimenez in introducing the Migrant Protection Protocols Act, which codifies the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy. This gives us time to fully vet migrants and reaffirms our commitment to national security and public safety. pic.twitter.com/KRcRrOPra6
— Rep. John Rutherford (@RepRutherfordFL) July 21, 2022
Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the court’s opinion taking the Biden administration’s side in that ruling. He was joined by all three liberal justices, as well as fellow conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Biden ended MPP in February of 2021 and was immediately sued over it.
Lower courts ruled that the Biden administration violated federal law when he rescinded the Trump-implemented policy.
On October 29, 2021, DHS issued a memo once again attempting to end MPP following a federal judge earlier in the year ordering that the program be restarted.
The federal judge claimed the Biden administration had failed to follow proper regulatory procedures when rescinding the policy.
The Supreme Court did not see it that way and ruled on June 30 that the administration did not violate section 1225 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) with the recession of MPP.
The Supreme Court ruled the October memo had “constituted final agency action” in the matter.
Republicans fiercely protested the ruling, noting that removing MPP would result in a massive increase in illegal immigration across the border, as well as drug trafficking and human smuggling.
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