More States Take Aim at Biden’s Non-Enforcement Guidelines

Press Releases

March 29, 2021

IRLI shows how the administration is flouting the law

WASHINGTON—Last week, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in support of Arizona’s and Montana’s request for a preliminary injunction against the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement priorities set forth in a February 18, 2021, guidance memorandum.

In its brief, IRLI argues that the new enforcement priorities violate the law because they prevent immigration officers from taking mandatory enforcement actions against a broad range of aliens. For instance, under the enforcement guidelines, only terrorists, spies, other national security threats, those who entered the United States after November 1, 2020, aggravated felons, and criminal gang members may be apprehended or removed. Any other alien, including other criminal aliens, may not be removed or detained, even though the law says that they must be.

The case is the latest effort by states to push back against the Biden administration’s failure to enforce immigration laws and protect the American people. Last month a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted the Lone Star State’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the administration’s 100-day deportation moratorium. IRLI and Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA), a project of IRLI, had both filed friend-of-court briefs in that case. And earlier this month, IRLI filed a brief in support of Florida’s motion for an injunction against the administration’s enforcement priorities at issue here.

“The arguments of these states could not be more legitimate,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “Many of these aliens are facing final orders of removal because of their criminal activity in the United States. Keeping them in the country comes with a cost, both a financial cost and, more importantly, the human cost paid by those victimized by these criminals and by others who will be drawn to the United States by the magnet of loose immigration enforcement. It is simply wrong, and certainly unlawful, for the administration to expect the states and the American people to accept these burdens inflicted by its own reckless dictates.”

The case is Arizona v. DHS, No. 2:21-cv-00186 (D. Ariz.).

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

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