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Supreme Court Appears to Chastise Biden Admin In Major Immigration Case

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The Biden administration was questioned Tuesday over its assumed authority to prioritize which people in the country illegally to deport first during a hearing in a case brought by a pair of Republican attorneys general who argued that the Department of Homeland Security is violating federal immigration laws.

According to Republic Brief, the nation’s highest court is considering a trio of issues distinct to the case, though, after oral arguments, it was not clear which way the justices might swing. Texas and Louisiana brought the case.

“At the heart of the dispute is a September 2021 memo from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that laid out priorities for the arrest, detention, and deportation of certain non-citizens, reversing efforts by former President Donald Trump to increase deportations,” CNN reported, which added:

Several of the conservative justices on Tuesday seemed ready to rule in favor of the states on a major threshold issue: whether Texas and Louisiana had the legal right to bring the challenge in the first place.

In addressing whether the DHS guidelines were in conflict with two provisions of federal law, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh pointed out time and again that the law notes some immigrants “shall” be taken into custody or removed from the country, which appeared to suggest they were skeptical of the department’s assumed discretion.

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“Shall means shall,” Roberts said. “Shouldn’t we just say what we think the law is,” he added while suggesting it ought to be left to other branches to “sort that out.”

The case was accepted by the Supreme Court after a district court judge blocked the DHS’s discretion in the matter.

“Using the words ‘discretion’ and ‘prioritization’ the Executive Branch claims the authority to suspend statutory mandates,” ruled U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. “The law does not sanction this approach.”

After a federal appeals court refused to stay the lower court’s ruling, the Biden administration made an emergency appeal to SCOTUS in July, which ruled 5-4 to allow the lower court’s ruling to remain in effect until the case is finally decided on its merits. At the time, conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined with the court’s three liberals in ruling in favor of the Biden administration but did not explain why at the time.

The Republic Brief further explained:

As Amy Howe of SCOTUS Blog noted, three salient questions are being asked by the Court. SCOTUS is asking both the plaintiffs and defendants whether the states have legal standing. The Biden administration says the states do not have legal standing because they have not been damaged by the federal government, while the states argue that they have to shell out more funds due to the presence of additional immigrants in their state, including public benefits.

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In April, former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, who focused a great deal on the former administration’s immigration mandates, said President Joe Biden’s reversals of his predecessor’s policies created chaos along the U.S.-Mexico border and are “impeachable.”

During an interview on Fox News, Miller said that Biden has “rubbished and trashed” the immigration system in the United States, arguing that Biden’s handling of immigration was “completely impeachable.”

“What this president has done is he has turned Congress into a mere suggestion box,” Miller protested.

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“The entire Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs who can enter our country, how you apply for a visa, what rules you have to comply with, where you have to apply from — that entire system has been rubbished and trashed by this president as though he were an emperor. And so, it is completely impeachable,” he added.

“My organization has been involved in a number of lawsuits against his policies, and in each of those lawsuits, we lay out how he has violated the clear command of Congress and the clear command of the Constitution,” Miller noted.

“One of those cases that we litigated in partnership with Texas we won on Title 42. Another one, with respect to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he has been found to have broken the law again and again and again. And so yes, these are impeachable crimes, absolutely, especially because he has not complied with the court injunctions when he loses these lawsuits,” Miller concluded.

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