As the Biden administration has been working rapidly to undo key Trump-era border and immigration policies and replace them with more liberal policies, Republican state attorneys general have been working just as hard to push back against what they see as illegal actions that could hurt Americans and put them in danger.
“As attorney general I have certain tools in my toolbox, and I have said I am going to do everything I can to enforce the rule of law and to protect hard-working American taxpayers,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in an interview with Fox News.
STATES LAUNCH LEGAL EFFORT AFTER BIDEN DROPS TRUMP RULE ON IMMIGRANTS AND WELFARE
Arizona currently has multiples lanes of litigation it is pursuing on both legal and illegal immigration. One of those is a lawsuit, with Missouri, over the administration’s narrowed interior enforcement guidelines for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
That guidance, issued in February, narrows enforcement priorities to recent border crossers, national security threats and “aggravated felons.” While those outside of those categories are not ruled out from arrest or deportation, agents need pre-approval from superiors to arrest them.
That guidance for ICE was issued after Texas had sued the Biden administration over an initial plan to impose a 100-day moratorium on deportations. Texas won the lawsuit, and earlier this month the Biden administration announced it had abandoned the policy after the 100 day period had passed – marking the first legal victory for the GOP states.
TEXAS, MISSOURI SUE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION OVER SCRAPPING OF ‘REMAIN-IN-MEXICO’ POLICY’
“This is a big win 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. “This Administration’s failed policies have only exacerbated the crisis at our southern border, and further exhausted the regular duties of our law enforcement officers.”
“This is a big win 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.”
— Ken Paxton, Texas attorney general
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, May 1, 2018. (Associated Press)
Having shot down the deportation moratorium, the states are now hoping to shut down other parts of the Biden immigration agenda – including the ICE rules they say amounts to the same policy as the deportation moratorium. The new ICE guidance has coincided with a dramatic decrease of arrests and deportations and the discovery process triggered by the lawsuit led to the release of an email that showed that ICE officials predicted such a drop in arrests would occur.
As part of that, the states have also been able to begin deposing officials, the first depositions of which were released this month — including an ICE official saying that the reason for the narrowing of enforcement was not due to limited resources, as the administration had claimed.
Texas, Arizona and Missouri have also taken aim at the Bid
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