Texas Sheriffs, Counties Defend Border Suit

Press Releases

January 22, 2024

IRLI shows case against Biden catch-and-release policies must go ahead

WASHINGTON—In a Texas federal district court, a group of Texas sheriffs and counties, represented by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), has filed an opposition to the Biden administration’s motion to dismiss their amended complaint, which alleges that the administration’s policies of releasing illegal aliens it has apprehended at the border violate federal law.

In support of its motion to dismiss, the administration points to a Supreme Court ruling last year that parties not subject to federal arrest and removal policies—such as states, or the counties and sheriffs in this case—lack standing to seek more arrests or removals through court action. As IRLI shows in its opposition, however, the amended complaint the administration seeks to dismiss focuses on its policy of releasing aliens it has already apprehended—that is, arrested—and the Supreme Court’s ruling explicitly exempts those who challenge such non-detention policies from the standing bar.

“It is very clear that injured parties, such as our clients here, have standing to challenge the administration’s outrageous and patently unlawful catch-and-release policies, which are flooding this country with illegal aliens, and the Supreme Court ruling about arrest policies doesn’t change that a bit,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “After that ruling came down, parties bringing lawsuits similar to ours all dismissed their cases voluntarily, but we refused, because our case also challenges the administration’s refusal to detain aliens the law says must be detained. We hope the court sees this obvious distinction, and allows our case to proceed.”

The case is Coe v. Biden, No. 3:21-CV-00168 (S.D. Tex.).

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