The Supreme Court blocked a Biden administration effort to limit Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests in a decision Thursday.
The 5-4 decision placed a national freeze on a September 2021 Biden administration memo that sought to tighten the scope of civil immigration arrests to threats to national security, border security and public safety. A judge in the Southern District of Texas vacated the guidelines in June.
DHS requested a stay on the order, but the request was ultimately denied in the latest decision. Arguments on the merits of the case are scheduled for December, according to the high court’s order.
“The Department’s September 2021 Enforcement Guidelines direct U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to focus its limited resources and enforcement actions on those who pose a threat to our national security, public safety, and border security,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“In the interim, ICE 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,” DHS added. “ICE officers apply prosecutorial discretion when making apprehension and removal decisions, as do law enforcement officers in different agencies and offices throughout the country.”
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DHS told the DCNF it “is obligated and will abide by” the Texas judge’s decision as it remains in effect.
The decision isn’t the first time the Biden administration’s attempted to roll back immigration enforcement policies, some of which were implemented under President Donald Trump. In May, a federal judge ruled against the Biden administration’s attempt to roll back Title 42, a public health order used to quickly expel certain migrants.
Neither the White House nor the Texas attorney general’s office responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment.