OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The administration of President Joe Biden has been blocked by a federal court from imposing limitations of arrests, detentions, and removals by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Southern District of Ohio Judge Michael Newman made the decision on Tuesday in a case that was brought by Republican attorneys general of Arizona, Montana, and Ohio.
He issued a preliminary injunction stopping the president from imposing the new guidelines on punishments for illegal immigration, The Washington Examiner reported.
“The States sue because they believe DHS skirted Congress’s immigration enforcement mandates when it issued a policy that prioritizes certain high-risk noncitizens for apprehension and removal,” the judge said. “DHS contends that seemingly mandatory statutes must be read flexibly to permit efficient law enforcement.”
“At bottom, that is what this dispute is about: can the Executive displace clear congressional command in the name of resource allocation and enforcement goals? Here, the answer is no,” he said.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sued the Biden administration in November 2021 over the policy revision, which they said “dramatically ties the hands of immigration officers, halting nearly all deportations.”
That month, the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees ICE, issued a permanent guidance to limit whom ICE could arrest and thus remove from the country. The guidance established that ICE officers had to obtain permission to arrest illegal immigrants who had not been convicted of an aggravated felony, were not affiliated with a gang or terrorist network, or had illegally entered the U.S. before November 2020.
Knudsen celebrated the victory in a message to The Washington Examiner.
“This is a great victory for the rule of law, border security, and public safety across the country. President Biden’s open border policies make it easier for the Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs into our country, which is part of the reason we’re seeing such an increase in violent crime,” he said. “I hope the Biden administration will follow the court order and start following the law when it comes to deportations, particularly for those illegal aliens who have prior criminal convictions.”
“VICTORY: A federal judge just blocked the lawless Biden Administration policy that halted nearly all deportations after our office challenged this guidance. Our office has been at the forefront of the fights for the rule of law this past year. Arizona deserves nothing less,” Brnovich said on Twitter.
“We won a nationwide junction against the Biden Administration’s non-enforcement rules on immigration! In late September, DHS announced its permanent interior immigration enforcement policy, ignoring Congress and the law,” Yost said.
“DHS refused to detain and remove dangerous criminal aliens and aliens who have already gone through their entire court process and lost. DHS Secretary Mayorkas boasted that he has fundamentally changed immigration enforcement in the interior. He was telling the truth: he had.
“Today, the federal district court fundamentally changed it back,” the Ohio attorney general said.
“DHS’s policies have been disastrous. DHS has only removed 18,713 individuals from January to July 2021 compared to 186,089 during the same period in 2019.
“This is no prioritization policy, this is a policy of abdication. It has increased the number of dangerous criminal aliens in the US by the thousands, and it makes a joke out of immigration enforcement, an only exacerbates the border crisis,” he said.
“This is a win for the rule of law and common sense immigration enforcement.
“Ohio Arizona and Montanna challenged this policy in the Southern district of Ohio,” he said.
“ICE data for fiscal year 2021, which ended in September 2021, revealed that arrests and deportations of illegal immigrants dropped more than 75% compared to the record-high numbers seen during the Obama administration. ICE removed 59,011 noncitizens in 2021, mostly under the Biden administration’s more rigid criteria. In 2011, nearly 400,000 noncitizens were deported — meaning the numbers were down 85% under Biden,” The Post said.