It isn’t a huge ruling by the Supreme Court but it is a defeat for the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement policy, at least a temporary defeat. The interesting points of the ruling include the fact that conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett sided with the three liberal justices. It is also the first time the newest justice’s name appears on an order released by the Supreme Court.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court denied the Biden administration’s stay request to reinstate an immigration enforcement policy that allows DHS to focus its resources on certain groups of illegal immigrants for deportation over others. At the time that the new policy was implemented by DHS Secretary Mayorkas, Texas and Louisiana filed lawsuits challenging the policy, along with others, and a lower court issued a legal victory for the challengers. The Biden administration asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to block the district court’s judgment but was denied its request so the Biden administration took it to the Supreme Court. The court treated its court filing as a formal petition for appeal and the justices granted it. The case is scheduled to be heard the first week in December, in the court’s next term.
At issue is DHS guidance from last September that directed immigration officers to prioritize certain groups of undocumented immigrants for deportation over others, with a focus on those who pose a threat to public safety or national security. The policy also directed officers to make a more comprehensive assessment of noncitizens before proceeding with an arrest or removal.
Mayorkas wants to use what he calls DHS’s limited resources to arrest or deport illegal aliens who are deemed the most dangerous to society. It’s a piecemeal approach to the immigration crisis that is only getting worse because of Biden’s bone-headed policies, or lack of policies. Officials in several Republican-led states are challenging about a dozen nationwide border or immigration-related policies in federal court.
Officials in Arizona, Missouri, Texas and other GOP-controlled states have convinced federal judges, all but one of whom was appointed by former President Donald Trump, to block or set aside seven major immigration policies enacted or supported by Mr. Biden over the past year.
The states’ lawsuits have doomed a proposed 100-day deportation moratorium, suspended two rules aimed at limiting immigration arrests, forced border officials to reinstate the Trump policy of requiring some migrants to await their asylum hearings in Mexico and closed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for so-called “Dreamers” to new applicants.
Republican-controlled states have also secured rulings to require the Biden administration to continue an emergency border order known as Title 42 that allows for the quick expulsion of migrants and to prevent it from continuing an exemption to that policy for unaccompanied migrant children.
The importance of judicial nominations and success in getting a president’s nominees confirmed is highlighted at times like this. Elections have consequences and it is important to remember how crucial it was for conservatives that Mitch McConnell worked so closely with the Trump White House to move judicial nominations through the Senate confirmation process in a timely manner. In this case, it was a Trump-appointed judge that sided with the challengers last month, vacating the DHS policy. The judge ruled that DHS failed to follow federal immigration law.
The liberal justices voted in favor of the Biden administration and DHS’s policy. Interestingly enough, Justice Amy Coney Barrett sided with them. The vote was 5-4. They would have sided with the Biden administration to temporarily block the lower court order while the case plays out.
As I mentioned, there are other lawsuits challenging Biden’s policies that are pending. For example, challenges to Biden’s decision to stop the construction of the border wall and the administration’s attempt to overhaul and speed up the asylum process along the southern border remain.
Abdullah Hasan, a White House spokesperson, said the Biden administration has faced “immense obstruction” from Republican state officials. “We’ve seen it time and again: Republican elected officials attempt to block nearly every step we take to rebuild the immigration system the prior Administration gutted, and then try to blame us for the chaos and confusion their actions cause,” Hasan told CBS News.
But Hasan argued the administration is still “making significant progress securing the border and building a fair, orderly, and humane immigration processing system.”
Does he expect us to think that Democrats don’t judge-shop for their legal challenges against conservative policy? And, please, the claim that DHS is making “significant progress” with anything along the southern border or within the immigration system is just laughable. They think you are stupid.