Trump-appointed federal judge indefinitely blocks the Biden administration’s 100-day deportation freeze

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A US Customs and Border Protection vehicle patrols a new section of the border wall in El Paso, Texas, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on August 27, 2020. Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters
  • A federal judge blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a 100-day deportation freeze.
  • The ruling does not mandate that deportations have to return to their previous rate.
  • Democrats are hoping to pass a large-scale immigration overhaul in Congress this year.
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A federal judge in Texas indefinitely blocked President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing a 100-day deportation freeze, according to the Associated Press.

US District Judge Drew Tipton granted a preliminary injunction on Tuesday, halting the moratorium that the Biden administration announced last month.

The ruling serves as a win for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, who filed a lawsuit against the government over the moratorium. The administration’s policy was unveiled by the US Department of Homeland Security in a memorandum shortly after Biden’s inauguration.

Last month, Tipton, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, issued a 14-day temporary restraining order to stop any enforcement of the moratorium, arguing at the time that the Homeland Security memo didn’t “consider potential policies more limited in scope and time” or “provide any concrete, reasonable justification for a 100-day pause.”

Tipton also ruled last month that the moratorium ran afoul of federal law on administrative procedure and that the administration didn’t sufficiently justify the pause.

Tuesday’s injunction will extend the temporary restraining order. However, this ruling does not mandate that deportations have to go back to to their previous rate. Even in the absence of a moratorium, federal immigration agencies will have wide leeway in enforcing deportations and processing cases.

Biden, who campaigned on a 100-day deportation freeze during his campaign as a part of his review of immigration policies and enforcement, has sought to turn the page from Trump’s aggressive crackdown on immigration.

The president has proposed a comprehensive immigration bill that would offer a pathway to citizenship for roughly 11 million people who are living in the United States illegally.

After years of false starts, Democrats are hoping to finally pass a large-scale overhaul, but top Republicans have already begun rallying against any policies they deem as granting “amnesty.”

The judicial fight over the deportation ban is an early indicator of GOP resistance to Biden’s immigration priorities, a reversal of the frequent Democratic-led judicial battles against Trump’s proposals.

As of Wednesday morning, it was not yet clear if the Biden administration plans to appeal Tipton’s latest ruling.