The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court on Friday to allow it to implement guidance that prioritizes the deportation of people in the country illegally who pose the greatest risk to public safety.
The emergency request to the court follows conflicting decisions by federal appeals courts in recent days over a September directive from the Department of Homeland Security that halted deportation unless individuals have committed acts of terrorism, espionage, or “threats.” atrocities to public safety”.
The federal appeals court in Cincinnati reversed a district judge’s order that suspended the policy in a lawsuit brought by Arizona, Ohio and Montana.
But in a separate lawsuit brought by Texas and Louisiana, a federal judge in Texas ordered the guideline to be suspended nationwide, and a federal appeals panel in New Orleans refused to intervene.
The administration went to the Supreme Court in this latest case, asking that the policy be allowed to be implemented nationwide, or at least everywhere outside of Texas and Louisiana.
The judge’s order “is disrupting DHS’s efforts to focus its limited resources on non-citizens who pose the gravest threat to our nation’s national security, public safety, and the integrity of our nation’s borders,” Attorney General Elizabeth wrote. Prelogue in the presentation of the Supreme Court.
The guidance, issued after Joe Biden became president, updated a Trump-era policy that illegally removed people from the country regardless of their criminal records or community ties.
Though they disagreed on many aspects of the immigration issue, the two administrations found common ground on one issue, asking the court to limit the power of “single district judges to dictate national policy.”
Prelogar, following his predecessors in the Trump administration, lamented an explosion of lawsuits brought by states of one party against a president of the other party. Too many of those lawsuits, he wrote, resulted in orders with nationwide effect. Judges typically decide cases in ways that only affect the parties before them.
States have until Wednesday to respond, and an order from the Supreme Court is not expected before the end of next week.
The Biden administration’s request comes a day after Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order authorizing state forces to detain migrants and return them to the U.S. border from crossings.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, when asked about the order Friday, said: “Immigration enforcement is a federal authority and states should not … meddle with it.” That’s fair, especially Texas Gov. Abbott, who has a history of causing chaos and confusion at the border.”
It was unclear Friday how Abbott’s order would be carried out on the ground or if any arrests or transports had already been made. Ericka Miller, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said the state police agency could not discuss operational details.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus, speaking at a news conference in Washington, said his agency has a shared interest with Texas DPS and other agencies “in maintaining a safe, orderly and humane immigration process.”
“We stand ready to work with Texas to accomplish these goals, but the challenge is when any state like Texas takes unilateral action that makes it difficult for us to do this,” he said.