As part of a 16-state coalition, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is taking new steps to stop the Biden administration’s so-called “interim guidance” on “civil immigration enforcement and removal priorities.” The Biden policy drastically and intentionally curtails enforcement of immigration laws.
“Everyday Americans pay a steep price for President Joe Biden’s abject weakness on illegal immigration,” Attorney General Rokita said. “His soft coddling of lawbreakers encourages illegal border crossings because these individuals know that if they get caught, and even if they commit violent crimes, they won’t be deported.”
Biden’s interim guidance dramatically halts nearly all deportations and immigration-related arrests, including for those convicted of dangerous aggravated felonies. The coalition is asking the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to deny the Biden administration’s request for a stay pending appeal so that President Biden’s illegal refusal to enforce immigration laws will be halted while the administration’s appeal is ongoing.
In an amicus brief, the attorneys general detail how the interim guidance is fueling the border crisis and directly harming their states. The administration’s refusal to enforce immigration laws is creating enormous law enforcement expenses for the states and posing a serious public safety risk to citizens. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are averaging just one interior arrest every 2.5 months.
The interim guidance has also resulted in ICE lifting detainers on criminals who have completed their sentences. Instead of being deported, as required by law, they are released into communities, without any warning to the public, and put on community supervision funded by taxpayers. In Arizona, the crimes for which the Biden administration will no longer seek to deport violators include arson, armed robbery, misconduct involving weapons and aggravated DUI.
The interim guidance is in direct violation of federal law (8 U.S.C. § 1231), which mandates that ICE “shall” remove an alien who has received a final deportation order from the United States within 90 days. As recently confirmed this summer by the Supreme Court of the United States in a separate case (Johnson v. Guzman Chavez), “shall” means “must.”
Earlier this summer, Attorney General Rokita led a 15-state coalition that successfully argued that President Biden acted unlawfully when he revoked the Trump administration’s successful policy requiring migrants coming across the southern border to remain in Mexico while awaiting U.S. asylum hearings.