Victory! Biden’s Enforcement Stand-Down Enjoined

Press Releases

August 19, 2021

Agreeing with IRLI, court rules White House priorities violate federal law

WASHINGTON—Today, in a major victory, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued an injunction against the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement priorities, which have resulted in the release of many dangerous criminal aliens into the country. The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case urging the result the court reached.

In its brief, IRLI showed how these enforcement priorities violate the law by preventing immigration officers from taking mandatory enforcement actions against a broad range of aliens. Under the enforcement guidelines, officers may only use their authority to apprehend, detain, or remove terrorists, spies, other national security threats, those who entered the United States after November 1, 2020, aggravated felons, and criminal gang members. Officers are blocked from apprehending, detaining, or removing any other aliens, including the vast majority of criminal aliens. In its brief, IRLI also placed Biden’s priorities in their larger context: a whole series of Biden non-enforcement policies that, working together, have explosively increased unlawful entry by aliens—including many fugitives from justice and other criminals—from around the world.

Attorneys United for a Secure America, a project of IRLI, also submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.

Today the court agreed. In a thorough ruling, the court detailed the many ways Biden’s enforcement priorities violated clear federal law mandating the detention and removal of many criminal and removable aliens. In response to the administration’s claim that it was merely exercising its discretion to set enforcement priorities, the court, citing basic separation-of-powers constitutional principles, concluded that “the Constitution does not empower the Executive to set forth a policy that, in effect, dispenses with a congressional immigration mandate.”

“We applaud the court for its clear and well-reasoned ruling,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “It is unconscionable how the administration, at every turn, has abused its discretion by crafting policies that simply annul federal immigration law. The court was quite right to find the administration’s stand-down here impermissible, and we remain committed to opposing all of the administration’s lawless policies that have caused the border crisis.”

The case is Texas v. United States, No. 6:21-cv-00016 (S.D. Tex.).

Get Connected

Sign up for our email newsletter to stay up to date with immigration reform in the United States.

Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA) is a non-partisan affiliation of talented attorneys dedicated to pursuing cases that serve the national interest when it comes to immigration law.

If you are interested in joining the network, visit the AUSA website.