Following an order by a judge, the Biden administration this week lifted an order limiting Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests only to those immigrants who presented a threat to the safety of the United States.
The order was given by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in 2021 in an effort by the Biden administration to reform and reshape ICE and its practices. The order instructed ICE agents to arrest only those who were deemed a threat to public safety or those who had recently illegally crossed a US border. However, Republican officials in Louisiana and Texas recently asked a federal judge to lift the order.
U.S. Judge Drew Tipton ruled over the weekend that Mayorkas does not have the authority to issue such an order, and ordered the administration to lift it. Tipton had previously paused his ruling to allow the White House time to appeal, but ultimately delivered his judgment before the Biden administration had time to make its case.
The lifting of the order leaves border patrol agents with no official limits on which immigrants to arrest. The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement to CBS News over the weekend regarding the ruling, offering some guidance on the matter.
“During the appeals process, ICE agents and officers will make enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis in a professional and responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement officials and in a way that best protects against the greatest threats to the homeland,” the department said.
The Biden administration has argued the limits allow ICE to focus on individuals who are a threat and largely shield families with children from arrest and separation. Republicans say the limits on arresting illegal immigrants encourage illegal immigration.
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