Texas Federal Judge Hands Biden Open Border Policy Another Loss

A federal court in Texas issued an order on Friday that handed the Biden administration another loss in its open borders immigration policy. U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton struck down an enforcement memo issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) directing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to give deference to some of the illegal immigrants already inside the country.

Tipton said in his order that the DHS rule is arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to federal law because it fails to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act. He wrote that while the Executive Branch is allowed to make decisions about how to allocate its resources, it must do so within the bounds set by Congress.

The judge found that the DHS approach using the words “discretion” and “prioritization” as its authority to ignore statutory mandates established by Congress are not sanctioned by the law.

The DHS memo from Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to ICE dated last September restricted the agency in the classifications of illegal immigrants it could take steps to remove from the country. The policy essentially declared that being in the U.S. illegally was not sufficient grounds to maintain an enforcement action against the person. That was true even if the illegal migrant had a criminal record if the crimes were not deemed to be “serious.”

Mayorkas claimed the policy was needed so that DHS could prioritize its enforcement powers against “those who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security.” That policy allowed illegal migrants apprehended at the southern border who appeared on the national terror watch list to be released into the interior of the county.

Judge Tipton was appointed to the federal bench by President Donald Trump in 2020. He has previously ruled against policies of the Biden administration that run counter to the requirements enacted by Congress in federal legislation, including the initial moratorium on all deportations announced in the early days of Joe Biden’s term.

The order entered Friday included a 7-day stay that allows the Department of Justice an opportunity to file an appeal of the decision. The DHS said on Friday that it is still assessing the decision and evaluating its options for further steps.