U.S. Says Red States Can’t Micromanage Biden Immigration Policy

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Texas and Louisiana shouldn’t be allowed to block President Joe Biden’s push to stop holding non-citizens in custody beyond when they’d normally be released, just to give immigration officials time to decide if they should be deported, federal lawyers told a U.S. judge in Texas.

The two states sued to enforce a Trump administration policy that required state prison officials to detain all undocumented immigrants for assessment by federal immigration officials, even if they pose no public risk.

Biden administration lawyers urged U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton to reject what they characterized as a bid by the states to micromanage federal immigration agents’ daily decisions, according to a filing made public Tuesday in Victoria, Texas. They said the states are trying boost “raw removal numbers” at the expense of letting the agency temporarily prioritize using its scarce resources to deport people convicted of aggravated felonies, rather than the roughly 1 million non-citizens who face final deportation orders without violent histories.

Tipton, a Trump appointee, previously granted a separate request by Texas and other Republican-led states in a different case to temporarily block Biden’s 100-day halt of all deportations while he reviews immigration policies.

The case is Texas v U.S., 6:21-16, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Victoria).

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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