In a stunning blow to Republican-led states, the Supreme Court handed the Biden administration a major victory on a crucial immigration case. The court ruled, in an 8-1 decision, that GOP states did not have standing to challenge a policy aimed at narrowing federal immigration enforcement.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh, writing the majority opinion in U.S. v Texas, emphasized the extraordinary nature of the lawsuit brought by the states. He stated, “They want a federal court to order the Executive Branch to alter its arrest policies so as to make more arrests. Federal courts have not traditionally entertained that kind of lawsuit; indeed, the States cite no precedent for a lawsuit like this.”
The case revolved around new enforcement guidelines issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Initially, the department had attempted to impose a 30-day moratorium on all ICE deportations. However, it later issued guidance that limited ICE agents to targeting three specific categories of illegal immigrants: recent border crossers, threats to public safety, and national security threats.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas explained the rationale behind the new guidelines, stating, “The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen therefore should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them. We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way. Justice and our country’s well-being require it.”
Critics of the policy viewed it as a part of a broader rollback of enforcement and border security measures. They argued that the new guidelines resulted in a significant drop in ICE deportations. Data from FY 2021 showed that ICE arrested 74,082 noncitizens and deported 59,011. Notably, only 47,755 of these arrests took place after the implementation of the new priorities on February 18.
Texas and Louisiana challenged the legality of the guidelines, contending that they violated the Administrative Procedure Act. They argued that their states would bear the brunt of increased law enforcement costs and strain on social services due to the influx of illegal immigration. A district court agreed with them and blocked the implementation of the policy.
However, the Supreme Court, in its ruling, disagreed with the states’ standing. The court clarified that while monetary costs may constitute an injury, it must also be “legally and judicially cognizable” to grant standing. It noted that the states might have standing in cases where the Executive Branch entirely abandons its responsibilities but not in this particular instance.
This decision underscores the importance of clear and defined roles between the federal government and individual states when it comes to immigration enforcement. It also highlights the need for a comprehensive and bipartisan approach to address the complex issue of immigration reform.
We will continue to update you as more information becomes available on this significant development. Stay tuned.
Source Fox News