(The Center Square) – A federal judge in Texas has ruled against the Biden administration in a lawsuit brought by Texas and Louisiana over the administration releasing “criminal illegal aliens” into the U.S. instead of deporting them.
U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a 96-page opinion in favor of Texas and Louisiana vacating a memorandum issued by Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. The judge said Mayorkas’ policy was “arbitrary and capricious, contrary to law, and failing to observe procedure under the Administrative Procedure Act.” Tipton also denied all other requested relief brought by the administration.
The ruling comes after law enforcement officers involved in Texas’ Operation Lone Star have made a record number of arrests of violent offenders with cartel and gang connections.
“I just dealt Biden another massive defeat in fed court,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “He tried to throw out immigration law, saying DHS didn’t have to detain criminal illegals. The court now says he must. I will always hold the line with the Dems and the rule of law.
“Joe Biden is more focused on abandoning our laws than enforcing them, and it’s clear he cares more about his radical-liberal ideology than the lives of hard-working Americans,” Paxtoin added.
Of the ruling, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said, “A federal judge has just ruled with us that the Biden Administration can no longer refuse to detain criminal illegal immigrants. This is a major win for our national security and the rule of law.”
Not deporting dangerous criminals “is indicative of a broader shift in federal policy that began on the first day of the Biden Administration and has resulted in a ‘crisis on the border,’” the AGs argue.
Federal law requires ICE “to take custody of many criminal aliens, including those with final orders of removal, those convicted of drug offenses, and those convicted of crimes of moral turpitude.”
By refusing to take them into custody, the Biden administration is violating the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, binding agreements DHS negotiated with the states of Texas and Louisiana and is unconstitutional, the AGs argue.
…A separate challenge filed by ICE agents and sheriffs over arresting and deporting criminal “illegal aliens” is pending before the courts.
The Biden administration is expected to appeal.
A DHS spokesperson told Fox News Digital it was “currently assessing the court order and considering next steps.”