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Does Texas have legal right to challenge Biden administration’s immigration policies?

BigCountryHomepage
BigCountryHomepage
 2022-11-30

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — Texas wants anyone who comes into the state illegally to be deported. This case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. Texas is asking the court to expand who is targeted for deportation.

Texas’ arguments stem from new guidelines issued by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas released in 2021.

Those new guidelines said dangerous criminals such as terrorists or those who recently crossed into the U.S. should be prioritized for deportation.

“The law the Biden Administration is trying to ignore is crystal clear: certain illegal aliens that have committed crimes must be detained and cannot be allowed to roam freely in our communities,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a written statement. “We look forward to making our case before the U.S. Supreme Court and protecting the rule of law. Keeping our citizens safe is one of the most fundamental duties of government, perhaps even the most fundamental. The Biden Administration has tried to ignore that duty, but we’re fighting every single day to remind them.”

University of Texas at Austin law professor Stephen Vladeck filed an amicus brief in this case. He has a different take on what this case going to the Supreme Court means.

According to his brief, Texas has a history of filing lawsuits that support the Republican party’s interests with conservative judges who are likely to appeal to its side. Vladeck alleges issues being brought to the Supreme Court have more to do with politics.

“Texas has abused the federal courts by intentionally, repeatedly, and solely filing its Texas-based lawsuits against the federal government in district court divisions staffed entirely, or almost entirely, by judges appointed during presidencies of the Texas Governor’s and Attorney General’s party. In many of these cases, Texas has had a 95% (or greater) chance of drawing a specific judge,” Vladeck’s brief stated. “Those courts have repeatedly issued nationwide injunctions against a growing array of actions and initiatives undertaken by the Biden Administration.”

Policy Director of the American Immigration Council Aaron Reichlin-Melinck said this caused a lot of uncertainty for families who have immigrated to the states.

“For those who are already here, they want some idea of certainty about whether or not the federal government is going to go after them,” Reichlin-Melinck said.

Director of Litigation for the Texas Public Policy Foundation Chance Weldon said he doesn’t think Texas will have a difficult time winning this case that went up to the highest court on Tuesday.

“Whenever an agency exceeds a federal statute … the state should have the right to come in and be able to sue,” Weldon said.

In the Supreme Court on Tuesday, there was a lot of talk about the language of the current law, which said illegal immigrants “shall” be taken into custody and whether the federal government is overstepping its power.

“It’s our job to say what the law is, and I don’t think we should change that responsibility because Congress and the executive can’t agree on something that’s possible,” Chief Justice John Roberts said.

Congress has no set funds currently to deport all illegal immigrants in the country. Texas’ lawyer told Supreme Court justices the state would prioritize working with limited funds.

“The reality is we live in a world of limited resources, ICE is never going to be able to arrest every undocumented immigrant in the country,” Reichlin-Melinck said.

In July, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to leave the immigration policy frozen nationwide but also decided to hear arguments in the case in November.

A decision in the case is expected by late June.

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