ICE agents, sheriffs sue Biden administration over limiting deportations

Courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Texas sheriffs sued the Biden administration for limiting deportations. A group of active Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers joined in the lawsuit. They claim that the Biden administration’s policy increases crime-response costs. Those who are released from jail go on to commit more crimes.

Four sheriffs and ICE agents in counties on or near the Mexico border that Governor Abbott issued disaster declarations for on May 31 filed the lawsuit on Thursday. According to those on the ground, Biden’s policy limiting ICE from taking most arrested illegal immigrants into custody for deportation is allowing “extremely dangerous illegal aliens” to be put back out on the streets, increasing crime in communities.

As part of President Joe Biden’s pledge to take a more humane approach to immigration enforcement compared to the harsh policies of former President Donald Trump, the Biden administration issued a memo Feb.18 directing ICE to focus on deporting immigrants who are national security or terrorist threats, gang members, those who have been convicted of certain aggravated felonies and any that entered the country after Nov. 1.

ICE officers who want to take into custody jailed immigrants falling outside those categories must first obtain approval from their bosses.

Joe Biden wants his administration to appear as a “humane” one, as opposed to the bad Orange Man who expected federal agencies to follow the law and protect communities. The “humane” approach only goes one way. It isn’t very humane for residents of communities experiencing an increase in crime at the hands of people who are not legally entitled to be there. Biden’s open borders policies put the desires of those here illegally over the safety of American citizens and legal residents.

The ICE agents just want to do their jobs. They say that Biden’s policy is preventing them from apprehending illegal immigrants though it is mandated in the Immigration and Nationality Act. Biden’s policy leads to a decline in ICE arrests, which is Biden’s goal, and as a result, in April 2021, ICE carried out fewer than 3,000 arrests. That is the lowest number on record.

The lawsuit cites examples of sexual assault to minors and reckless behavior endangering the life of a baby as examples of criminals who were allowed to avoid deportation.

“Specifically, detention is required for aliens who have committed or been convicted of numerous crimes other than aggravated felonies, such as: crimes of moral turpitude, crimes involving controlled substances, human trafficking, money laundering, and certain firearm offenses,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit cites the criminal backgrounds of eight unauthorized immigrants who the plaintiffs say have benefited from the Biden administration’s lax policy.

The sheriffs and counties, joined by co-plaintiff Federal Police Foundation, ICE Officers Division, says ICE higherups denied ICE officers’ request for preapproval to place a detainer on a man being held in a county jail following his arrest on drug, aggravated assault and child endangerment charges.

They claim the man rammed a police car with his vehicle, nearly hitting an officer, while fleeing with a baby in the backseat and had a quarter pound of heroin on him.

In addition, they say Biden’s new policy led ICE management to deny ICE officers’ request for preapproval to arrest an immigrant who has been convicted of sexually assaulting a minor under 14.

Is Biden’s policy humane for that 14-year-old child or for the baby in the backseat with a quarter pound of heroin? Some people crossing the southern border and living here illegally are bad people. They are criminals who do not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

The plaintiffs are represented by Kris Kobach, former Kansas secretary of state. Sheriffs in Hudspeth, Kinney, Edwards, and McMullen counties claim the lack of deportation enforcement increases crime-response costs and encourages more illegal immigration. Governor Abbott says that residents in the counties under disaster declarations are suffering from widespread property crimes and violent crimes. Some counties prefer to follow Biden’s approach to illegal immigration, though and asked that their counties be taken off the list of those under disaster declarations. They do not agree that the Biden border crisis and his change of policy have created a full-blown crisis.

Kobach says the sheriffs and ICE agents want DHS to follow the law.

“The relief we are seeking is that the court order ICE and the Department of Homeland Security to simply follow the law,” lead attorney Kris Kobach said after filing the suit at the Galveston federal courthouse on July 1. “To follow the specific laws … that require them to detain and deport certain illegal aliens.”

Part of ICE’s job is to track down and remove the 672,000 fugitives who have been ordered removed by a federal immigration judge but are still in the United States.

But the new DHS directive says that ICE agents must first get clearance from supervisors if they encounter illegal immigrants who aren’t convicted criminals during operations.

The decision of whether to arrest the individual needs to take into account whether the person might be suffering from a serious physical or mental illness, a DHS official said at the time.

“We want [ICE] to think about ties to the community, whether the individual has family here in the United States, U.S. citizen family members, and other considerations,” the official said.

Biden changed the law through executive action, not actual reform of immigration law. Until those changes are made through Congress, the policies will continue to change from administration to administration. That is not “humane” for anyone.