A federal appeals court overrode a three-judge panel decision Wednesday, restoring an injunction blocking President Joe Biden’s “sanctuary country” orders as legal challenges continue.
These “sanctuary country” orders are directions by top officials in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They require immigration agents to delay the deportation of illegal aliens until they have been convicted of aggravated felonies.
In August, Judge Drew Tipton of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the sanctuary country orders following a lawsuit from the states of Texas and Louisiana.
However, a three-judge panel stayed Tipton’s ruling the following month, saying that “eliminating DHS’s ability to prioritize removals poses a number of practical problems given its limited resources.”
Now a majority of the 16-judge Fifth Circuit has voted to vacate the three-judge panel’s decision and for all of them to hear the case together in what is called an en banc rehearing.
The case is Texas v. U.S., No. 21-40618 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.