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Trump appointed Judge bans enforcement of Biden’s 100-day deportation pause

Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, initially ruled on Jan. 26 that the moratorium violated federal law on administrative procedure and that the US failed to show why a deportation pause was justified

Updated On Feb 24, 2021 01:14 PM IST

FILE – In this July 31, 2019, file photo, migrants return to Mexico, using the Puerta Mexico bridge that crosses the Rio Grande river in Matamoros, Mexico, on the border with Brownsville, Texas. A federal judge on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, barred the U.S. government from enforcing a 100-day deportation moratorium that is a key immigration priority of President Joe Biden. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a temporary restraining order sought by Texas, which sued on Friday against a Department of Homeland Security memo that instructed immigration agencies to pause most deportations. Tipton said the Biden administration had failed “to provide any concrete, reasonable justification for a 100-day pause on deportations.” (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel, File)(AP)

A federal judge late Tuesday indefinitely banned President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing a 100-day moratorium on most deportations.

US District Judge Drew Tipton issued a preliminary injunction sought by Texas, which argued the moratorium violated federal law and risked imposing additional costs on the state.

Biden proposed the 100-day pause on deportations during his campaign as part of a larger review of immigration enforcement and an attempt to reverse the priorities of former President Donald Trump. Biden has proposed a sweeping immigration bill that would allow the legalisation of an estimated 11 million people living in the US illegally. He has also instituted other guidelines on whom immigration and border agents should target for enforcement.

Tipton, a Trump appointee, initially ruled on Jan. 26 that the moratorium violated federal law on administrative procedure and that the US failed to show why a deportation pause was justified. A temporary restraining order the judge issued was set to expire Tuesday.

Tipton’s ruling did not require deportations to resume at their previous pace. Even without a moratorium, immigration agencies have wide latitude in enforcing removals and processing cases.

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But in the days that followed his ruling, authorities deported 15 people to Jamaica and hundreds of others to Central America. The Biden administration has also continued expelling immigrants under a separate process begun by Trump officials, who invoked public-health law due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The legal fight over the deportation ban is an early sign of Republican opposition to Biden’s immigration priorities, just as Democrats and pro-immigrant legal groups fought Trump’s proposals. Almost four years before Tipton’s order, Trump signed a ban on travel from seven countries with predominantly Muslim populations that caused chaos at airports. Legal groups successfully sued to stop implementation of the ban.

It was not immediately clear if the Biden administration will appeal Tipton’s latest ruling. The Justice Department did not seek a stay of Tipton’s earlier temporary restraining order.

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