Homeland Security sued over “shocking disregard for the law”

by mcardinal

Lauren Moye, FISM NEWS


With an estimated 11 million undocumented noncitizens in the country, three states have sued the Department of Homeland Security for imposing limits on deportation that they describe as “reckless” and a “shocking disregard for the law.”

Led by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and joined by the attorneys general of Ohio and Montana, the states hope that the lawsuit announced on Thursday will prevent new deportation guidelines from coming into effect on Nov. 29.

Brnovich stated in a press release: “The Biden Administration continues to pursue its reckless open border policies, with a shocking disregard for the law and the safety of American families. Its latest administrative guidance would essentially abolish ICE, even as escalating crime and atrocities are moving through our border and into communities across the country.”

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas released deportation guidelines on Sept. 30 that urge the use of “prosecutorial discretion” before enforcing immigration laws. This discretion is necessary, the guidelines argue, due to the sheer number of noncitizens. Mayorkas wrote, “We do not have the resources to apprehend and seek the removal of every one of these noncitizens. Therefore, we need to exercise our discretion and determine whom to prioritize for immigration enforcement action.”

Instead, immigration enforcement action should be prioritized only for individuals who are a threat to national security, public safety, or border security. The guidelines also insist on a case-by-case analysis with factors that should discourage taking deportation action against an individual. These factors include, among others: advanced age, time already spent in the U.S., caregiver status, and military or public service “of the noncitizen or their immediate family.”

Mayorkas said, “In exercising our discretion, we are guided by the fact that the majority of undocumented noncitizens who could be subject to removal have been contributing members of our communities for years.”

This individual examination makes it possible for the DHS to release a noncitizen criminal offender rather than choosing to remove them back to their native country based on the merits of their community involvement. Brnovich alleges that the policy will halt “nearly all deportations, even for those convicted of crimes.”

The coalition of states note in their legal complaint that Mayorkas’ guidance breaks “clear Federal law” seen in 8 U.S.C. § 1231(a) to remove illegal immigrants who have received a final order of removal within 90 days.

The complaint reads, “To remove an alien within 90 days of a final order of removal, DHS must prioritize these aliens for apprehension and removal.”

The coalition of states also notes the increased cost they will be burdened with if the DHS abdicates its responsibility outlined in federal legal codes. The announcement released by Brnovich’s office gives one example of this cost: “Under the Permanent Guidance, ICE will no longer transfer most deportable migrants from local prisons to ICE custody when they are set to be released from jail, even though it is required by law (8 U.S.C. § 1226). Instead, migrants will be released into communities in Arizona and at the cost of taxpayers through community supervision.”

The lawsuit further explains the financial costs that Arizona, Montana, and Ohio will pay through providing medical and school expenses to illegal immigrants. Without the DHS enforcing final orders of removal, the states will bear an increased financial burden per undocumented migrant.