- A federal judge in Texas halted the Biden administration's deportation moratorium for 14 days.
- The 100-day moratorium on deportations for certain immigrants was one of the immigration executive orders President Biden signed on day one of his presidency.
- The legal challenge in Texas is likely to be the first of many aimed at stopping the Biden administration's immigration reform goals.
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A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked the Biden administration's 100-day deportation moratorium on Tuesday, stalling the administration's early immigration reform goals.
The freeze, an executive order signed by President Biden alongside a stack of other first-day executive orders, was blocked by US District Judge Drew B. Tipton of the Southern District of Texas.
Tipton was appointed by President Donald Trump, and on Tuesday Tipton ruled that the Biden administration's memo was "likely illegal," and "not only fails to consider potential policies more limited in scope and time, but it also fails to provide any concrete, reasonable justification for a 100-day pause on deportations."
Tipton argued that Texas had proven, "that it pays millions of dollars annually to provide social services and uncompensated healthcare expenses and other state-provided benefits to illegal aliens such as the Emergency Medicaid program, the Family Violence Program, and the Texas Children's Health Insurance Program."
Days before the legal challenge, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton indicated that Texas would challenge the memo in court, and the legal challenge came last Friday, the day the memo went into effect.
On Wednesday, Paxton called the ruling a "much-needed remedy."
On Twitter, he added, "Texas is the FIRST state in the nation to bring a lawsuit against the Biden Admin. AND WE WON. Within 6 days of Biden's inauguration, Texas has HALTED his illegal deportation freeze. *This* was a seditious left-wing insurrection. And my team and I stopped it."
Tipton's ruling stops the moratorium signed by acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske for 14 days. The moratorium barred the US government from deporting certain immigrants who entered the US before November 1 as the new administration decides on immigration enforcement for after the 100-day period.
According to the AP, Tipton added that his order is "not necessarily permanent" and something the court "is willing to revisit."
The White House said in a statement that the moratorium was "wholly appropriate," and "President Biden remains committed to taking immediate action to reform our immigration system to ensure it's upholding American values while keeping our communities safe."
Some of the immigration executive orders signed by Biden included an order to stop the construction of the border wall as well as a verbal commitment to strengthening the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. The administration also rescinded the Muslim ban put in place during the early days of the Trump administration.
A separate Texas court is seeking to strike down DACA protections.
Judges are pointing to a DHS agreement struck between the Trump administration and Texas which calls for a six month consultation period between the DHS and state governments before implementing immigration policy changes, according to Buzzfeed News.
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