A federal judge in Texas temporarily halted President Joe Biden’s deportation moratorium on Tuesday, The New York Times reports.
Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, issued a 14-day nationwide temporary restraining order after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued to overturn Biden’s freeze.
The Department of Homeland Security issued the moratorium hours after Biden was sworn in last week.
The order will remain in effect while Tipton considers whether to grant a preliminary injunction to stop the moratorium.
Judge says DHS broke law:
Tipton said the freeze would violate a provision of immigration law and another law that required agencies to provide a rational explanation for their decisions, according to the Times.
Tipton said that the halt violated a law requiring people with final deportation orders to be removed within 90 days and that the law should not be “neutered by the federal government’s broad discretion.”
Tipton also said DHS violated the Administrative Procedure Act because it did not provide a sufficient justification for the suspension.
“Texas is the FIRST state in the nation to bring a lawsuit against the Biden Admin. AND WE WON,” Paxton said after the ruling. “Within 6 days of Biden’s inauguration, Texas has HALTED his illegal deportation freeze. This was a seditious left-wing insurrection. And my team and I stopped it.”
Judges threaten Biden agenda:
“The court’s order shows the uphill battle President Biden has in trying to reverse the prior administration’s immigration restrictions,” Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration lawyer and a professor at Cornell Law School, told The Times. “A single judge can halt a federal agency’s effort to review and reprioritize its immigration enforcement policies.”
The White House said it will try to move forward with the pause.
“We’re confident that as the case proceeds, it will be clear that this measure was wholly appropriate in ordering a temporary pause to allow the agency to carefully review its policies, procedures and enforcement priorities — while allowing for a greater focus on threats to public safety and national security,” a spokesman said. “President Biden remains committed to taking immediate action to reform our immigration system to ensure it’s upholding American values while keeping our communities safe.”