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‘Unlawful And Unconstitutional’: ICE Agents, Sheriffs Sue Biden Over Orders That Led To Border Crisis

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Biden’s inauguration into office has been marked by numerous failures, the least of which has been his inability to control the influx of migrants at the U.S. southern border with Mexico. The situation, which has become a full-blown crisis, has prompted ICE agents and sheriffs to file a lawsuit against Biden.

On Thursday, a lawsuit filed by a group of sheriffs and active Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, charges that the Biden administration issued “unlawful and unconstitutional” orders that violated immigration law. They allege that Biden’s orders, issued in a Feb. 18 memorandum, instructed immigration officers to “refrain from placing aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States (‘illegal aliens’) into removal proceedings.”

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In other words, the law enforcement officers allege that the Biden administration instructed them to stop arresting illegal aliens to be deported.

“[T]he February 18 Memorandum commands ICE officers to violate the specific terms of several federal immigration statutes, violates the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), and violates the obligation of the executive branch faithfully to execute the law, as required by Article II, Section 3, of the United States Constitution,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit claims that by ordering ICE and other law enforcement agencies to abandon their duties, the Biden administration allowed dangerous illegal migrants to run free.

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The lawsuit states that “When Plaintiff sheriffs or their deputies arrest illegal aliens who have committed crimes, their offices inform ICE, or in some cases CBP. Prior to the February 18 Memorandum, ICE issued detainer requests and/or took custody of such aliens and initiated removal proceedings against them as the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires.”

“Since the issuance of the February 18 Memorandum, ICE officers have been unable to take custody of, or issue detainer requests for, dangerous criminal aliens whose detention is mandated by the INA,” the lawsuit added. “Many extremely dangerous illegal aliens who would have been detained prior to the February 18 Memorandum are now not being detained—against the wishes of the ICE officers seeking to detain them, and in violation of federal statutes requiring their detention and/or removal.”

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The lawsuit further alleges that Biden’s instructions impeded ICE procedures, contributing to a surge of illegal immigration into the country.

“As a result of the February 18 Memorandum and its implementation, the number of arrests and removals by ICE has dropped precipitously, to levels one-third of what they were prior to the beginning of the Biden Administration,” it states. “This standdown in ICE enforcement has fueled a crisis at the border and in other Texas counties, encouraging a massive surge in illegal immigration.”

Orders to limit the law enforcement efforts of ICE and other federal and local agencies have frustrated personnel so much that they now mockingly refer to themselves as the “U.S. Welcome Patrol.” As previously detailed by the Conservative Brief, frustrated agents told Reuters that they believe the situation has devolved into a futile exercise of catch and release.

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“We have so many people coming across, and then we’re out there killing ourselves to catch them, rescue them or whatever it is, and then they’re being released,” border patrol agent Rosemarie Pepperdine said. “Why even bother?”

To make matters worse, House Democrats proposed a new spending bill this week that would cut funding to immigration enforcement agencies and rescind funds allocated to the border wall, shaving $927 million from the Department of Homeland Security’s budget for the CBP and $2.1 billion from the border wall. The budget cut would also reduce funding to ICE by $1.55 million.

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