Arizona, Montana expand lawsuit against Biden administration over harmful border policies

The Biden administration is being sued by the states of Arizona and Montana in response to new policies on illegal immigration. Originally filed to challenge Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deportations, the lawsuit has been expanded to include a challenge to the guidance issued to ICE in February.

A judge has blocked Biden’s deportation freeze. Texas Attorney General Paxton was quick to file a lawsuit against the administration. Since then, U.S. District Court Judge Drew Tipton in the Southern District of Texas extended his temporary halt to President Biden’s 100-day deportation freeze. So, the governors of Arizona and Montana reframed their lawsuit.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen joined the updated lawsuit after Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich reframed it around interim guidance issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement last month.

That guidance allows ICE officers to focus on three categories for arrest and deportation: those who pose a threat to national security, those who have crossed the border since Nov. 1 and those who have committed “aggravated felonies.”

The Biden administration is actively seeking to expand the number of illegal migrants allowed into the United States. Once here, Biden and his open borders wing of the Democrat Party want all to be allowed to remain in the U.S. and eventually receive amnesty. The governors argue that there was an agreement in place with the Trump administration that calls for consultation with the governors of border states before changes in policy occur. In this case, Biden went around public officials and simply signed an executive action that drastically changes the policies in place. The governors rightly point to the fact that such restrictions on who can and cannot be deported is both a security risk and a public health risk.

That guidance, issued in February, tells Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to focus on three narrow categories for arrest and deportation: those who pose a threat to national security; those who have crossed the border since Nov. 1, and those who committed “aggravated felonies.”

“If asked about the poorest policy choice I’ve ever seen in government, this would be a strong contender,” Brnovich said in a statement. “Blindly releasing thousands of people, including convicted criminals and those who may be spreading COVID-19 into our state, is both unconscionable and a violation of federal law. This must be stopped now to avoid a dangerous humanitarian crisis for the immigrants and the people of Arizona.”

Both states filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to block the policy from going into effect as the case is heard.

Biden administration officials spin his move by saying that the guidance to ICE doesn’t specifically prevent anyone from being arrested or deported. However, there will be a significant decrease in arrests, which is the intention. ICE officers who seek to arrest an illegal migrant who does not fall within those three categories now have to get approval from their chain of command before doing so.

“By focusing our limited resources on cases that present threats to national security, border security, and public safety, our agency will more ably and effectively execute its law enforcement mission,” ICE acting Director Tae Johnson said in a statement.

Biden’s three categories of who can be arrested will likely have the same results that the deportation freeze would have accomplished, according to the governors. Now states are on the hook for enforcing laws to protect their residents. They say that drug trafficking will increase, the coronavirus will continue to spread, and it is a violation of federal law. Joe Biden is shirking his duty. Border states will shoulder the burden of health care cost increases and costs for additional law enforcement.

“Meth trafficked into Montana by Mexican drug cartels has wracked our state. The problem will only be made worse if the Biden administration continues to allow criminals to stay in the country,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said in a statement. “Enforcing our immigration laws and helping to keep Americans safe is one of the federal government’s most important functions. The Biden administration is failing its basic responsibility to Americans.”

“The Removal Moratorium will directly increase the number of aliens with final orders of removal who remain in Arizona because they will not have been removed by DHS,” the request for an injunction says. “Additionally, knowledge that DHS has issued a blanket moratorium on removals will encourage additional unauthorized immigration to Arizona, and this increase in population will increase Arizona’s incurred law enforcement and healthcare services costs related to them.”

It amounts to more winking and nodding from Open Borders Joe, which continues to accelerate the crisis at the border. More migrants will arrive at the border with their “Biden please let us in” t-shirts. By the way, who is paying for those shirts? I’ll be interested in finding out which group(s) are sponsoring the migrants and spreading their propaganda with t-shirts.

Neither Biden nor DHS bothered to consult with border states before handing down the new orders. So, here we are. States are left holding the bag and scrambling to find extra money and personnel to handle the growing burdens of the flood of illegal migrants. We’ll see how far their lawsuit goes and if it gets the favorable outcome that the lawsuit brought by Texas did.