Court Rejects Biden Administration’s Policy to Limit Immigration Arrests

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit extended a lower court stay on a preliminary injunction against the Biden administration.  The administration seeks to limit arrest and removal of immigrants to only those that pose a threat to national security or safety.

Previously, a District Court judge in Texas had issued the preliminary injuction. The decision has been widely criticized by legal scholars as an effort by a judge to block the president’s executive decision making with respect to immigration matters.

The district court judge’s decision casts a pall over the enthusiasm felt by many who hoped to have their removal orders reconsidered. The new Biden administration policy would reopen many cases to determine if, in fact, prior removal orders should not be rescinded, offering many immigrants hope.

If the Court of Appeals decision stands, then U.S. will return to a policy requiring immigration arrests and possible removal of every one of the approximate 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States simply for violating civil immigration laws.

Such a policy would collide with the practicalities of limited space in ICE detention facilities.

The Biden administration asserts that they prioritized immigration arrests for only dangerous criminals inside the United States and not all immigrants who entered without a visa or advance parole. The administration’s new policy is aimed at focusing efforts on dangerous individuals, while deferring action on hardworking mothers, fathers, and grandparents who provide much needed child care to the youngest immigrants.