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Looks like we will have another debate on the national reach of federal district court judges on immigration policy — but bet on the tone changing considerably. Last night, a judge in Houston issued an injunction preventing the Biden administration from halting deportations of illegal immigrants. The state of Texas argued — successfully, for now — that departing from statutes even under the aegis of prosecutorial discretion would impose an unfair financial burden on the state:
A federal judge late Tuesday indefinitely banned President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing a 100-day moratorium on most deportations. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a preliminary injunction sought by Texas, which argued the moratorium violated federal law and risked imposing additional costs on the state.
Mr. Biden proposed the 100-day pause on deportations during his campaign as part of a larger review of immigration enforcement and an attempt to reverse the priorities of former President Donald Trump.
Tipton, a Trump appointee, initially ruled on Jan. 26 that the moratorium violated federal law on administrative procedure and that the U.S. failed to show why a deportation pause was justified. A temporary restraining order the judge issued was set to expire Tuesday.
Tipton’s ruling did not require deportations to resume at their previous pace. Even without a moratorium, immigration agencies have wide latitude in enforcing removals and processing cases. …
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