Texas Sheriffs and Counties Go to U.S. Supreme Court

Press Releases

October 25, 2022

IRLI’s clients seek an injunction against Biden’s enforcement stand-down

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), representing Kinney County, Texas, Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe, several other Texas counties and sheriffs, and the Federal Police Foundation, ICE Officers Division, sought to intervene in a case now before the Court in which the states of Texas and Louisiana are challenging a Biden administration memo that instructs federal immigration officers not to detain and remove dangerous alien criminals and illegal aliens. IRLI’s clients seek permission to intervene so that they may request a remedy that the states have not sought: an injunction against the policies in the memo, not merely a ruling nullifying the memo itself.

As IRLI points out in its motion, merely nullifying the memo would leave the administration free to go on following the policies in it through back channels. And, since the Supreme Court has ruled that only it, and not any lower federal court, can grant injunctive relief in a case of this kind, IRLI’s clients, currently suing over the enforcement stand-down in a Texas federal district court, have no prospect of meaningful—that is, injunctive—relief for their injuries in any reasonable period of time if the Court does not let them intervene.

“The Biden administration can easily get around the mere nullification of a memo,” said Christopher Hajec, IRLI’s director of litigation. “Its officials are far less likely to defy an injunction by the Supreme Court at the risk of contempt proceedings against them personally. Given this administration’s repeatedly-demonstrated refusal to enforce the law, an injunction is the only relief that could work.”

Today, in a follow-on filing, IRLI submitted its brief on the merits of its request for injunctive relief, showing that the administration memo cancels federal immigration statutes requiring the detention and removal of criminal and illegal aliens. The memo goes even further, instructing officers never to start enforcement proceedings against any alien “merely” because the alien is in the country unlawfully. This vast executive amnesty erases the legal condition Congress imposed on all illegal aliens—that they are removable from the country. It is thus an unconstitutional suspension of the law.

“The administration’s stand-down in immigration law enforcement is both a cause of the ongoing border crisis and an in-your-face usurpation of congressional authority,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “Only an injunction can stop it, and we hope our clients’ motion to intervene is granted so that an injunction can come from the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court.”

The case is United States v. State of Texas, State of Louisiana, No. 22-58 (Supreme Court).

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