Attorneys general from three states sued the administration of President Joe Biden over a memorandum ordering immigration agents not to detain many illegal immigrants within the United States.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, all Republicans, claim that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ directive is “a blatant show of contempt for the legal orders of Congress ”.
Mayorkas, nominated by Biden, wrote on Sept. 30 that being in the country illegally was not sufficient cause for officers to carry out an arrest.
Estimates of the number of illegal immigrants in the United States range between 11 and 14 million.
Mayorkas said agents do not have enough resources to track down so many illegal immigrants and urged Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to use discretion when making arrests.
According to the guidelines, only illegal immigrants who pose a threat to national security, public safety or border security should be deported.
On the new demand, attorneys general say the memorandum amounts to halting federal immigration enforcement, with few exceptions.
Despite a clear mandate from federal statutory law, defendants believe that there is literally no restriction on their authority, and they can release individuals, including defendants or convicts of crimes, even when immigration courts have already ordered their expulsion from the United States, ”they said.
The lawsuit raises concerns that illegal aliens charged or convicted of crimes will be released as a result of the memo, further straining facilities such as hospitals that are already stressed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Montana law enforcement officials fear the guidelines will lead to an increase in drug trafficking, while Ohio officials believe they will have to “deal with increased crime as foreigners are released from criminal detention. ”.
The lawsuit asks the court to find that the guidelines violate federal law and permanently prohibit the federal government from applying them. He appeared in federal court in Cincinnati.
“The Biden Administration continues to pursue its reckless open border policy, with outrageous disregard for the law and the safety of American families,” Brnovich said in a statement. “His latest administrative guidance would essentially abolish ICE, even as increasing crime and atrocities are moving across our border and into communities across the country. Along with Ohio and Montana, Arizona filed a lawsuit to challenge and reverse this deeply misguided policy that would further devastate our country. “
Mayorkas defended the memo before a Senate panel this week, arguing that it came from “tremendous experience not only as a member of the Department of Homeland Security, but as a federal prosecutor.”
The roughly 1.2 million illegal immigrants who have been ordered deported cannot all be expelled, Mayorkas said, not to mention the rest of those in the country illegally.
Asked Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) if he believed any of them should be expelled, he said that “I do believe that individuals who pose a threat to public safety, who pose a threat to national security, who pose a threat to border security must be removed and we must be smart and effective in the use of our resources, and we must focus on the well-being of our communities and prioritize individuals for removal. “
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