The U.S. Supreme Court gave Texas and Louisiana a temporary legal victory in the border states’ attempt to strike down a September 2021 Biden administration immigration guideline.
The Supreme Court, in a ruling without explanation on Thursday, allowed a federal judge in Texas to block the Biden Administration’s immigration guideline that, according to the border states’ prosecutors, limits the ability of border agents to detain and deport illegal aliens.
The ruling is a political setback for the Biden administration as it tries to juggle an unprecedented surge in illegal immigration, overburdened Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and an agenda to replace the Trump administration’s more stringent border policy amid bipartisan criticism.
Dissenting justices include Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Elena Kagan, and Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson—marking Jackson’s first vote since the start of her tenure last month.
The DHS issued the new immigration enforcement guidelines in late September 2021, directing immigration authorities to exercise “discretion” and prioritize detaining or deporting illegal aliens who “pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security.”
Put into practice, the September 2021 guideline designates that an illegal alien’s lack of legal authorization to stay in the United States “should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them.”
This guidance is in direct contrast with the Trump-era DHS policy, which guides immigration authorities to detain and deport illegal aliens in a non-discriminatory manner, except in certain limited cases, such as those who came to the United States as children or are parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
The high court’s ruling, which upheld a federal court’s ruling in June 2022 vacating the Biden administration’s September 2021 DHS guidance, gives Texas and Louisiana a temporary victory, at least until the Supreme Court hears the case in the December 2022 argument session.
By Gary Bai