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Texas AG files lawsuit against Biden admin over deportation halt

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The Texas attorney general filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration over its order to freeze most deportations for the next 100 days, coming just two days after President Joe Biden entered the Oval Office.

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memo demanding all of its constituent bureaus “reset and review” their immigration enforcement policies, including a 100-day freeze on most deportations of noncitizens.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) argues that DHS is breaking immigration law by ordering the deportation freeze in the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. His statement also claims that the new orders violate the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas and the DHS.

“In one of its first of dozens of steps that harm Texas and the nation as a whole, the Biden administration directed DHS to violate federal immigration law and breach an agreement to consult and cooperate with Texas on that law,” Paxton said in a statement. “Our state defends the largest section of the southern border in the nation. Failure to properly enforce the law will directly and immediately endanger our citizens and law enforcement personnel.”

Moreover, Paxton’s lawsuit asserts that the DHS’s authority does not extend to such a policy.

“If left unchallenged, DHS could re-assert this suspension power for a longer period or even indefinitely, effectively granting a blanket amnesty to illegal aliens that Congress has refused to pass time and time again,” the filing says. “The Constitution, controlling statutes, and prior Executive pledges prevent a seismic change to this country’s immigration laws merely by memorandum.”

Paxton’s office is requesting that the court issue a restraining order against the new DHS orders. However, it is uncertain when a judge will hear his case.

Paxton previously made headlines for launching a multi-state lawsuit challenging the 2020 presidential election results in some key swing states, echoing then-President Donald Trump’s dubious claims that widespread fraud changed the outcome of the election in those states. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which threw it out in early December for lack of standing.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Immigration

IG Audit shows nonprofit wasted $17 million taxpayer dollars on hotels to not house illegal foreign nationals

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An audit report by the Inspector General shows enraging information as to exactly how millions of dollars from the American people were completely wasted.

One doesn’t need to read past the IG report’s headline to become furious: “ICE Spent Funds on Unused Beds, Missed COVID-19 Protocols and Detention Standards while Housing Migrant Families in Hotels.”

In summary, an unbelievable $17 million was wasted on not housing illegal foreign nationals. At the heart of the story is Endeavors, a nonprofit which has received half a billion dollars in taxpayer money “through no-bid government contracts to house foreign nationals who illegally entered the U.S. and were released by the Biden administration instead of being deported” reports The Center Square.

The audit evaluated the process used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to grant no bid contracts to Endeavors and their compliance with federal law, the article explains.

The report evaluated an $86.9 million sole source contract first awarded to Endeavors earlier this year. The contract was awarded for six months to provide “temporary shelter and processing services for families who have not been expelled and are therefore placed in immigration proceedings for their removal from the United States,” The Center Square previously reported.

Months after it received its first no bid contract, Endeavors received a second $530 million contract and hired former Biden administration official Andrew Lorenzen-Straight as its senior director for migrant services and federal affairs, Axios reported.

The Center Square explains:

Sole source contracts are used when an agency can demonstrate the contract meets specific and justified criteria. If contracts don’t meet one of the criteria, they must be awarded through an open competitive process.

Endeavors has no professional history of providing housing services and has never provided beds or all-inclusive emergency family residential services, OIG auditors found. Those critical of DHS’ contract process argue the agency should be awarding contracts through an open competitive process to ensure that those bidding for funds can offer the services they claim they can provide.

Under the contract in question, for six months between March and September 2021, Endeavors was responsible for providing 1,239 beds and other necessary services in hotels. It used six hotels and repurposed them as Emergency Family Reception Sites to accommodate families staying less than three days while ICE considered conditions of release, including alternatives to detention.

The IOG made four recommendations for ICE to improve its contracting and oversight of hotel facility management and operations. “ICE concurred with one recommendation and didn’t concur with three. Based on information ICE provided in its response, the IOG said it considered one recommendation resolved and closed, and three recommendations administratively closed.”

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