Texas became the first state to sue the Biden Administration, and within six days of Joe Biden‘s inauguration it got an injunction.
The Texas Attorney General’s office obtained the lighting-quick injunction amid a record number of executive orders signed by President Biden and top-level agency decisions, which Reuters is calling “a swift legal setback for his ambitious immigration agenda.”
U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, an appointee of former President Donald Trump in the Southern District of Texas, issued the 14-day temporary restraining order on what appears to be the fulfillment of a Biden campaign promise to ban deportations for 100 days until a new policy on removals can be reached. Texas appealed the decision on Friday.
“The Court’s decision to stop the Biden Administration from casting aside congressionally enacted immigration laws is a much-needed remedy for DHS’s unlawful action. A near-complete suspension of deportations would only serve to endanger Texans and undermine federal law,” said Texas Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton in a press statement. “Blatantly illegal security threats cannot be allowed to stand, and the rule of law must be upheld. I commend the Court for prioritizing the law and safety of our citizens, and I will continue to defend Texas against the unlawful and unconstitutional actions of President Biden and his Administration.”
Judge Tipton, via Reuters, said Texas has “a substantial likelihood of success” on at least two of its claims — that federal law requires authorities to remove immigrants with final deportation orders on their records (about 1.2 million immigrants with 6,000 in current detainment) and that the Biden administration acted recklessly in issuing the moratorium.
From the hip: Biden supporters and some civil rights watchdogs have said that the moratorium is necessary to prevent further family separations and other human tragedy involved in the apprehension of those committing violations of U.S. immigration law. What goes without saying in their rhetoric is that the Barack Obama Administration (with Biden as vice president, of course) oversaw the construction of the “cages” for which said supporters have blamed Trump, among other policies they readily despise.
Also left unsaid is that the U.S. has had no substantial top-down immigration reform since following the Elian Gonzalez situation in 2000 — during the dawn of the George W. Bush Administration.
But rather than assign blame or engage in hasty, campaign talking point-based policy band-aids, the Biden Administration has an entire honeymoon period to begin work on a timetable to reform immigration in a way that a Democratic-led Congress would readily agree to. They have that opportunity: but do they want the fallout of how voters will respond in 2022 and 2024? No, which is why it is far easier to lead by administrative fiat and say that a campaign promise was kept.