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Federal Judge Blocks Biden's 100-Day Deportation Moratorium

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton requested a temporary restraining orderagainst the Department of Homeland Security last Friday. A federal judge granted the request Tuesday, suspending President Biden's 100-day deportation ban.

Judge Drew Tipton agreed with Paxton that there was a chance the state would "suffer imminent and irreparable harm" if a temporary restraining order wasn't granted. He also said the order won't harm the defendants or the public. Tipton said the nationwide injunction is effective for 14 days, according to court documents.

The same day Biden was inaugurated in Washington, Acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske issued a memoto U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and Citizen and Immigration Services. It declared a review of policies and practices throughout the department and its components — including a 100-day pause on the removal of certain noncitizens. Paxton argued the moratorium would be harmful.

"Our state defends the largest section of the southern border in the nation," Paxton said. "Failure to properly enforce the law will directly and immediately endanger our citizens and law enforcement personnel."

Biden promised to tear down many of Trump's immigration policies in his first 100 days in office, during which Homeland Security would refocus its efforts, prioritizing threats to national security, public safety and border security, the memo said.

Jorge Loweree, policy director at the American Immigration Council, said the moratorium would give the Biden Administration time to look at each detainee's case individually.

"The moratorium indicated a very clear understanding of the impact the Trump Administration has had on immigration over the last four years," Loweree said. "Correcting that damage will take time."

There are currently 14,195 people in immigration detention centers across the country, according to ICE.

The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Dustin Jones
Dustin Jones is a reporter for NPR's digital news desk. He mainly covers breaking news, but enjoys working on long-form narrative pieces.