Texas and Louisiana file lawsuits against Biden administration over reduced use of ICE deportations

The States of Texas and Louisiana have filed lawsuits against the Biden administration over the reduced use of ICE detainers.

The Republican Attorneys General of Texas and Louisiana are suing the Biden administration over a policy change that allows immigrants that have been convicted of crimes to be released at the end of their sentence rather than being held for deportation proceedings. “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,” the complaint says. “By refusing to take these criminal aliens into custody, Defendants have disregarded non-discretionary legal duties.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the lawsuit on Tuesday, accusing the administration of “endangering Texans” by refusing to order the automatic detention of undocumented immigrants who have committed criminal offenses. “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.” The lawsuit claims ICE agents have not requested or dropped requests that state prisons hold such people rather than releasing them into the community.

“Dozens” of these requests have been invalidated in Texas and people subject to deportation have been released in Louisiana, as stated in the suit, which does not cite specific cases. The lawsuit comes less than two months after Texas officials said ICE had been prepared to release three men who were all convicted of sex offenses against children, in a supposed misapplication of President Biden’s enforcement directives. The men have not been released, but Jason Clark, chief of staff at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said in February that the men were among 26 people whom ICE discarded “detainer” requests.

Immigration authorities issue detainers to local and state law agencies holding someone who might be subject to deportation. When an immigrant makes a bail or finishes a crime sentence, ICE can seek to take them into custody. “Law and order must be immediately upheld and enforced to ensure the safety of our communities,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “Dangerous and violent illegal aliens must be removed from our communities as required by federal law.” U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) urged the President on Monday to increase funding for ICE, and ignore calls to defund the agency from the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich invited Vice President Kamala Harris to the border to see “firsthand” what is happening.




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