Texas judge extends suspension of Biden deportation freeze

A federal judge in Texas has extended the temporary block on the Biden administration’s freeze on deportations for another two weeks.

In an order dated Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Drew Tipton in the Southern District of Texas lengthened his suspension of the White House’s 100-day deportation moratorium through February 23, writing that the extension was necessary for “the record to be more fully developed” in Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s (R) lawsuit challenging the moratorium, according to The Texas Tribune.

Initially, Tipton on January 26 suspended the moratorium for 14 days. Through halting deportations, President Joe Biden has been trying to dismantle many of former President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policies. In response, Paxton was quick to file a lawsuit against the moratorium, arguing that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be breaching an agreement law it has with the state by ordering the deportation freeze. The agreement, signed during the final days of the Trump administration, required DHS to consult Texas before altering policies.

Having just taken effect on Friday, the moratorium does not impact individuals who came to the United States after November 1. However, those who have taken part in–or are suspected to have taken part in–terrorism and espionage or are deemed national security threats can still be deported.

In his order, the judge also said that the extension will give parties more time to “provide for a more fulsome record” to assist the court in “adjudicating Texas’s motion for a Preliminary Injunction,” per Fox News.

Moreover, Tipton, who was appointed by Trump last year, mentions “the irreparable harm that would accrue to Texas if an extension” was not issued.

The Biden administration, the order states, “argued that the 100-day pause on removals is necessary to allow” them to take account “important immigration, foreign policy, and humanitarian considerations.”

“The Court may ultimately be persuaded by the Defendants’ arguments, but any harm they might incur between now and then does not outweigh the potential for irreparable harm to Texas,” Tipton added.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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