Supreme Court hands Biden victory on border: Justices rule in favor of letting government prioritize migrants for deportation based on their threat to the public
- The Supreme Court gave President Biden a victory in immigration policy
- Ruled in favor of its policy allowing migrants to be deported if they posed a threat
- States have argued that all migrants should be deported immediately
The Supreme Court on Friday gave President Joe Biden’s administration the go-ahead to move forward with guidelines shifting immigration enforcement toward tackling threats to public safety, giving him a victory on the politically contentious issue in a legal battle with Texas and Louisiana.
The decision allows the administration to move forward with its policy of prioritizing the deportation of immigrants who are deemed to pose the greatest risk to public safety.
Judges have rejected a challenge by Republican-led states to a policy the administration says recognizes there isn’t enough money or manpower to evict the roughly 11 million of people who are illegally in the United States.
The states had argued that federal immigration law requires authorities to detain and deport even those who pose little or no risk.
The Supreme Court gave President Biden a victory in immigration policy
Friday’s decision was 7-1, with Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. the lone dissenter.
“The states have brought an extraordinarily unusual lawsuit,” Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote for the majority. “They want a federal court to order the executive branch to change its arrest policies to make more arrests. Federal courts have not traditionally entertained such lawsuits; indeed, states cite no precedent for a trial like this.
At the center of the case is a September 2021 directive from the Department of Homeland Security that suspended deportations unless individuals committed acts of terrorism, espionage or “flagrant threats to public safety.” .
The guidelines, issued after Joe Biden became president, updated a Trump-era policy to unlawfully deport people to the country, regardless of their criminal history or community ties.
Trump had sought to broaden the range of immigrants subject to arrest and removal.
Biden’s policy has prioritized the arrest and deportation of non-U.S. citizens who pose a threat to national security, public safety, or border security, giving officers more discretion to consider the individual circumstances.
A group of migrants line up after arriving from Texas, outside the Port Authority bus station to receive humanitarian aid in New York
Republicans have criticized Biden as weak on immigration policy, saying his policies, including fewer detentions and deportations, have encouraged more illegal border crossings.
The issue of immigration could feature prominently in the 2024 presidential election, with Biden set to seek a second term and Trump running for his party’s nomination.
U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton ruled in favor of Texas and Louisiana in June 2022, suspending the policy nationwide. Tipton was appointed by Trump. The following month, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 not to block Tipton’s decision ending the guidelines.
In announcing the new guidelines in 2021, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas cited the long-standing practice of government officials exercising their discretion to decide who should be deported and said most immigrants subject to deportation “have been active members of our communities for years”.
The administration said U.S. authorities have long relied on prioritizing enforcement given that there are an estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the country.
Texas and Louisiana argued they would be hurt if they had to spend more money on law enforcement and social services due to an increase in the number of non-US citizens inside. of their borders.
Workers build a new wall along the southernmost part of the US-Mexico border
The Supreme Court ruled for President Biden 7-1, with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. the only dissenter
The Biden administration argued that the two states lacked the proper legal standing to support the lawsuit because they had not suffered direct harm from the policy.
During Biden’s first year in office, unlawful arrests and deportations of immigrants to the United States declined from previous years. In the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2021, evictions fell to 59,000 from 186,000 the previous year. In the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2022, those evictions reached 72,000.