As soon as President Biden was sworn in, once of his first orders of business was having the Department of Homeland Security issue a memorandum directing immigration agencies to focus their enforcement efforts on three main categories: threats to national security, threats to public safety, and immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally on or after Nov. 1. The memo was a shift from practice during President Donald Trump’s administration, when immigration agencies were given wider discretion on whom to arrest, detain, and deport. Texas and Louisiana sued the federal government Tuesday alleging immigration authorities have declined to take custody of people who have been convicted of crimes and could be subject to deportation.
In the recently filed complaint, the states contend that changes in immigration policy by President Joe Biden’s administration allow immigrants who have been convicted of crimes to be released at the end of their sentences rather than being held for deportation proceedings. The lawsuit claims U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have not requested or dropped requests that state prisons hold such people rather than releasing them into the community. The lawsuit asks a judge to declare some of the Biden administration’s executive actions on immigration to be illegal. This appears to be the latest maneuver by GOP opposition to the Biden’s administration’s overall immigration reforms.