Supreme Court weighs Biden’s new deportation policy with no indication of a majority opinion for or against

Por Lawrence Hurley – NBC News

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday to decide whether to restore the policy promoted by the Government of Joe Biden that changes migrant arrest and deportation priorities to focus on those who pose a risk to national security or have just arrived in the country recently.

The new guidelines, issued in September last year by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, were blocked by a federal judge in Texas at the request of this state and Louisiana, both governed by the Republican Party.

Two agents detain a migrant in North Carolina in 2020.The Washington Post via Getty Im

For more than two hours, the magistrates heard the reasons given by Texas and Louisiana to annul the new guidelines of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE).

During the argument there was little indication that the nine (mostly conservative) justices are close to reaching a consensus allowing for a majority vote, as they grappled with a number of complex and interrelated legal issues.

[Cientos de migrantes duermen a la intemperie en Ciudad Juárez tras el violento desalojo de su campamento]

Announced in September 2021, the president’s plan marked a shift from the way the law adopted by his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, was applied. Biden argued that, taking into account that there are some 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, certain cases should be prioritized because there are no resources to detain and deport those who are already in the country and the thousands who cross the border every month illegally. irregular.

Texas and Louisiana immediately challenged the plan in court, arguing that federal immigration law requires certain illegal immigrants (including those convicted of felonies, human trafficking, and some firearms offenses) to be detained after being released from prison. criminal custody.

Biden’s policy, which requires an individual to assess whether an immigrant is a public or national security threat while the government begins deportation proceedings, would challenge that requirement, the states say.

Government lawyers argue that the president has broad discretion to set enforcement priorities.

One of the legal questions that arises is whether states have the legal standing to challenge and, if so, whether the guidelines are illegal. A third question concerns whether the judge has the authority to block the policy even if it is illegal.

From the questions posed by the justices, it appears that the Supreme Court will likely consider that states have standing to challenge, but they seem more undecided about the extent to which Congress or the courts have tied the government’s hands on immigration policy.

[Las autoridades desalojan a unos 800 migrantes junto al río Bravo]

On the one hand, several judges pointed out that the federal government lacks the resources to detain all the undocumented immigrants that the agents find, regardless of what Congress says. “It is impossible for him [poder] executive do what you want, right?” Chief Justice John Roberts asked Texas Attorney General Judd Stone.

Progressive Justice Elena Kagan added that it would be “extraordinarily onerous” to impose a requirement that the government must detain all undocumented immigrants.

On the other hand, if Congress requires the executive branch to do something even though it can’t be done, “should we continue to fulfill our responsibility to say what the law is?” Roberts asked.

The Supreme Court could say that the government’s policy is illegal, but find that the Texas judge who blocked the rule had no authority to do so.

In the ruling blocking the measure, Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton said Texas had legitimacy because it could show that the immigrants who should have been detained were in Texas and, in some cases, had committed crimes.

[Rescatan a tres migrantes que viajaron 11 días sobre el timón de un enorme petrolero]

Tipton considered both that the policy was illegal and that the Government did not follow correct procedure in applying it.

Republicans have frequently accused Biden of a lax approach to law enforcement and border security, which they say has led to an increase in crime and an increase in the number of people entering the United States illegally. Joined.

The Supreme Court voted July 5-4 to reject the government’s request to immediately reinstate the policy, but agreed to hear arguments. The ruling should occur at the end of June.

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