Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) have filed suit against The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for “sanctuary country” policies that prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from arresting, detaining, and deporting most illegal aliens.
In February, top DHS officials announced sanctuary country policies that prevent ICE agents from arresting and deporting about 9-in-10 illegal aliens who would otherwise be deported.
These policies require that ICE agents only prioritize arrest and deportation for illegal aliens who have been recently convicted of aggravated felonies, terrorists, or known gang members. As a result, convicted illegal alien felons are being released into American communities.
Subsequently, Florida, Montana, and Arizona have filed lawsuits against the Biden administration, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has directed state agencies to alert local law enforcement every time a criminal illegal alien is released into their community due to the orders.
Paxton and Landry have filed a similar lawsuit to that of Florida, Montana, and Arizona, arguing that the Biden orders are ensuring that criminal illegal aliens are being “released in local communities” in Texas and Louisiana.
The lawsuit states:
The Biden Administration is refusing to take custody of criminal aliens despite federal statutes requiring it to do so. Instead, Defendants have issued and implemented unlawful agency memoranda that allow criminal aliens already convicted of felony offenses to roam free in the United States. Such aliens belong in federal custody, as Congress required. [Emphasis added]
Federal law requires Defendants to take custody of many criminal aliens, including those with final orders of removal, those convicted of drug offenses, and those convicted of crimes of moral turpitude. By refusing to take these criminal aliens into custody, Defendants have disregarded non-discretionary legal duties. [Emphasis added]
“The President’s refusal to enforce the law only worsens an already dire border crisis,” Landry said in a statement. “Law and order must prevail; dangerous and violent criminal aliens must not be allowed to roam free in our communities.”
The lawsuit is asking a federal judge to rule that these policies violate the Administrative Procedure Act and federal immigration law. The plaintiffs also argue that DHS violate its duty under a legally binding agreement to consult with those states before attempting to change this type of policies. Finally, the lawsuit also argues that these policy changes are unconstitutional.
The lawsuit is asking a federal judge to prevent the Biden administration from enforcing the orders and rule that they are a violation of federal immigration law.
Paxton said in a statement:
President Biden’s outright refusal to enforce the law is exacerbating an unprecedented border crisis. By failing to take custody of criminal aliens and giving no explanation for this reckless policy change, the Biden Administration is demonstrating a blatant disregard for Texans’ and Americans’ safety.
Florida’s lawsuit against the Biden administration revealed seven cases where convicted illegal alien felons, in prison for burglary, cocaine trafficking, grand theft auto, heroin trafficking, credit card fraud, and money laundering had either been released into communities or are going to be released thanks to the Biden orders.
The case is Texas v. United States, No. 6:21-cv-00016 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.