Judge Blocks Biden’s Relaxed Stance on Immigration Arrests

In September 2021, the Biden government set new rules for immigration (ICE) officials.

A memo by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said most "undocumented noncitizens ... have been contributing members of our communities for years." ICE should focus on people who are a threat to public safety or national security, or recently entered the country illegally.

On Friday, at the request of Republicans in Texas and Louisiana, a Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas threw out those rules. Judge Drew Tipton is the same judge who killed Biden's 100-day freeze on deportations last year.

Republican state governments have at least 12 lawsuits challenging Biden's immigration policies. And Trump-appointed federal judges continue to support them.

Tipton argued that Mayorkas' memo protects criminals while handcuffing ICE agents. He also said it is US law to detain immigrants who have been convicted of certain crimes - and the President doesn't have the power to change laws.

Under Biden, ICE stopped detaining families with children, ended sweeping worksite arrests, and shielded US service members, pregnant or nursing women, and victims of serious crimes from arrest or deportation.

ICE deported a record-low 59,011 people in 2021, but that's only partly due to Biden's policies. Many migrants are quickly expelled at the border under Title 42 - a public health law used by the Trump government during the pandemic.

Nearly 2 million people have been expelled under this public health law - so they're not counted by ICE as deportations.

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