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Judge blocks Biden’s 100-day deportation freeze temporarily

Migrants in Matamoros, Mexico. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
January 26, 2021

A federal judge blocked Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing the new president’s Executive Order that initiated a 100-day deportation freeze, following a lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleging the pause was unconstitutional.

Judge Drew Tipton from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, a former President Donald Trump appointee, issued a temporary restraining order against the Department of Homeland Security, a move that will apply across the United States for 14 days.

“Texas has thus far satisfactorily demonstrated it is entitled to immediate and temporary relief from the January 20 Memorandum’s 100-day pause on removals,” wrote Tipton.

Paxton announced the lawsuit last week, accusing the Biden administration of violating the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law and a contractual agreement between the DHS and Texas, with an order that he said “would seriously and irreparably harm Texas and its citizens.”

“In one of its first of dozens of steps that harm Texas and the nation as a whole, the Biden administration directed [Department of Homeland Security] to violate federal immigration law and breach an agreement to consult and cooperate with Texas on that law,” Paxton said in a statement.

Following the ruling, Paxton said Texas is the first to bring a lawsuit against the new administration, tweeting, “AND WE WON. Within 6 days of Biden’s inauguration, Texas has HALTED his illegal deportation freeze.”

The Texas Attorney General went on to say that the move was “a seditious left-wing insurrection,” adding, “And my team and I stopped it.”

Reuters reported that the Biden administration will likely appeal the ruling.

Over the weekend and in response to the 100-day pause, an internal email obtained by Fox News revealed an ICE official instructed officers in Texas to “release them all, immediately,” referring to the detainees, in addition to ordering all removals to stop, including land and air deportations.

“As of midnight [Thursday], stop all removals,” the email read. “This includes Mexican bus runs, charter flights and commercial removals (until further notice) … all cases are to be considered [no significant likelihood of removal in foreseeable future].”

In the email, the ICE official made sure to note that he was just “the messenger” of the orders, communicating that it was not his idea; rather, it was President Biden’s.

At least 14,715 detainees are currently held in 138 ICE facilities nationwide, with criminal charges that include, but are not limited to, assault, child abuse, domestic violence, drug trafficking and rape.

It is unknown if the agency is carrying out the mass release.