Federal judge deals Biden admin another blow on lax border policy

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


A U.S. District Court judge in Texas dealt another blow to the Biden administration’s lenient border policy on Friday.

Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, struck down a Department of Homeland Security directive issued in February which said entering the U.S. illegally is not enough grounds for enforcement action, even if migrants have a criminal record.

Tipton, who sided with Texas and Louisiana in their challenge to the guidance, called the policy “capricious” and “contrary to law,” ruling it violated the Administrative Procedure Act

The directive, which was issued by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in September, essentially instructed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to give deference to certain individuals who enter the U.S. illegally, even if they have an extensive criminal record, so long as they aren’t deemed to pose a “serious” threat to national security.

“The Executive Branch may prioritize its resources…but it must do so within the bounds set by Congress,” Tipton wrote in his opinion, adding that, by “using the words ‘discretion’ and ‘prioritization,’ the Executive Branch claims the authority to suspend statutory mandates. The law does not sanction this approach,” he continued.

Mayorkas previously asserted that the guidance was necessary in order to allow the DHS to “focus our efforts on those who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security and thus threaten America’s well-being.” Under the policy, 42 individuals on terror watch lists were apprehended at the southern border, released into the interior of the U.S., and subsequently picked back up days later after public outcry.  

Tipton had previously ruled against other efforts by the Biden administration to evade existing immigration laws, including an attempt to block deportations for 100 days during Biden’s first months in office.

The administration was given seven days to appeal the July 10 ruling. The DHS said that it is “currently assessing the court order and considering next steps,” according to the report.

Under Biden’s presidency, illegal immigration in the U.S. has reached never-before-seen numbers, creating a boon for criminal cartels making hundreds of millions off of human trafficking and drug smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border. Scores of states have sued the administration over its lax border policies, including 21 state-filed lawsuits against the White House’s decision to roll back the Title 42 expulsion policy. A Louisiana federal court blocked the intended repeal last month. 

A group of 38 Republican senators and congresspeople on Friday sent a letter to the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security renewing calls for an investigation into the border crisis.

Customs and Border Patrol data shows that there were 230,000 migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border in May alone.