A federal judge recently tossed out DHS Secretary Mayorkas's ICE policy, drastically limiting the agency's ability to enforce U.S. immigration law by significantly narrowing its targets.
However, in his ruling, Judge Drew B. Tipton of the Southern District of Texas stated that the federal government does have a "general duty to try to detain and deport immigrants without documentation who have significant criminal records or who have been ordered removed by an immigration judge," reports The Washington Times.
Judge Tipton's ruling added that the evidence presented to him in the case proved the Sec. Mayorkas's policy led to the release of illegal aliens whom the law demanded be detained and/or deported, including many with serious firearm, drug, or even sexual battery offenses.
Judge Tipton stated:
The legal issues are varied and complicated. But the core of the dispute is whether the Executive Branch may require its officials to act in a manner that conflicts with a statutory mandate imposed by Congress.
It may not.
The case stemmed from a September memo by Sec. Mayorkas laying out new rules for what types of illegal aliens could be detained, arrested, or deported. Mayorkas said that illegal presence in the United States was no longer enough to be a target for immigration enforcement, but instead, an illegal alien must have either just crossed the border, been considered a national security threat, or had a serious felony offense to trigger detention, arrest, or deportation.
The Washington Times reports:
Drug offenses, multiple felonies, human traffickers, money launderers and weapons violators didn't automatically qualify. Even migrants who had been a final deportation order from an immigration judge weren't considered automatic targets, Judge Tipton said.
The result of the new policies was a dramatic drop in criminals being arrested and detained, the judge said.
Judge Tipton said Mr. Mayorkas had tried to cloak his broad prohibitions under terms like "priorities" and "discretion." But the result was still an attempt to suspend the law as written.
Judge Tipton also pointed out another fault in Sec. Mayorkas's immigration policy, noting that ICE has been canceling many illegal alien detainers it had previously placed. Detainers are federal requests to state and local jails and prisons to hold illegal aliens until ICE can pick them up.
Texas, in particular, says ICE canceled 170 detainers from Biden's inauguration to Feb. 15, 2022. However, "55 had serious drug offenses on their record, Judge Tipton said. And 17 of those whose detainers were canceled had already broken their terms of release, four committed new crimes and one is still at large," The Washington Times.
Judge Tipton ordered a revocation of Mr. Mayorkas' memo, with a five-day hold to allow the Biden Administration to appeal.
You can read the full story here.