A three-judge panel on Wednesday halted a Texas judge’s order that blocked President Joe Biden’s so-called “sanctuary country” orders that have forced the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release criminal illegal aliens back into the United States.
On Wednesday, two judges appointed by former President Barack Obama and a judge appointed by former President George W. Bush put the brakes on Judge Drew Tipton’s order last month that struck down Biden’s orders that prevent ICE from arresting and detaining most criminal illegal aliens.
Judge Gregg Costa writes that the panel’s “main concern” with Tipton’s injunction “is that we believe these [Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996] (IIRIRA) provisions do not eliminate immigration officials’ ‘broad discretion’ to decide who should face enforcement action in the first place.”
For close to nine months, DHS has been following the enforcement priorities listed in its January 2021 memo. Even more so here when the release of new guidance is imminent. Allowing the injunction to take effect could subject immigration agents to three separate directives in the span of a few weeks. Moreover, eliminating DHS’s ability to prioritize removals poses a number of practical problems given its limited resources. One of those problems, which highlights the potential for nationwide injunctions to conflict, is that ICE is subject to another nationwide injunction that limits the number of beds it can use in detention centers. [Emphasis added]
The United States has shown that the injunction will cause irreparable injury and that the equities favor a stay. [Emphasis added]
We therefore grant in part and deny in part the motion to stay the preliminary injunction. The injunction will go into effect to the extent it prevents DHS and ICE officials from relying on the memos to refuse to detain aliens described in 1226(c)(1) against whom detainers have been lodged or aliens who fall under section 1231(a)(1)(A) because they have been ordered removed. The injunction is stayed pending appeal in all other respects including the reporting requirements. [Emphasis added]
Tipton had also ordered Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide a monthly report on the number of illegal aliens who were released into the U.S. the previous month after ICE agents did not detain them.
Tipton asked for each illegal aliens’ name, the crime they were charged and were detained for, as well as the reason that they were not detained by ICE agents and the ICE official who made the decision not to detain them.
With the court’s decision, DHS no longer has to abide by Tipton’s reporting requirements. The decision also means DHS can continue imposing its “sanctuary country” orders as the case makes its way through the courts.
In February, the orders instructed ICE agents not to arrest and deport illegal aliens who had not been identified as terrorists, gang members, or were not recently convicted of an aggravated felony in the U.S.
As a result, illegal aliens charged and convicted of child sex crimes, armed robbery, drunk driving, burglary, cocaine trafficking, grand theft auto, heroin trafficking, credit card fraud, money laundering, and other crimes have been released into American communities rather than being turned over to ICE agents for arrest and deportation.
The case is Texas v. U.S., No. 21-40618 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.