#SIULAW Prof. Cindy Buys, discusses a federal judge’s temporary restraining order suspending President Biden’s moratorium on deportations in this interview with the Albany NY CBS affiliate, WRGB 6.

February 02, 2021 , by Stephen Loiaconi | Albany WRGB 6.

Cindy BuysWASHINGTON (SBG) — President Joe Biden’s effort to roll back the previous administration’s immigration policies and redirect enforcement resources hit an early roadblock Tuesday as a federal judge halted a 100-day moratorium on most deportations, in the first of what could be many legal battles over his agenda.

U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton issued a 14-day nationwide temporary restraining order to suspend the policy while considering arguments for a longer preliminary injunction. Tipton, who was appointed by President Donald Trump last year, rejected the Biden administration’s defenses of the moratorium, concluding a challenge filed by Texas under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) was likely to prevail.

In his ruling, Tipton stated the Biden administration did not provide “any concrete, reasonable justification” for the pause—as required by the APA—and failed to explain specifically why it needed to last 100 days. He also suggested the moratorium violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which mandates the removal of undocumented immigrants within 90 days of a final deportation order.

The immediate practical implications of the ruling were unclear. Tipton’s order did not require DHS to resume deportations at any specific level, and the agency has broad discretion to process and schedule removals.

“It’s a very temporary hold the judge issued yesterday and doesn’t necessarily mean anything from a long-term perspective,” said Cindy Buys, a professor of constitutional law and immigration law at Southern Illinois University.

Some legal experts have challenged Tipton’s interpretation of the law. Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy counsel at the American Immigration Council, called the ruling “fundamentally wrong,” arguing that the court does not have jurisdiction to enforce the removal provision of the INA and that DHS was not required to consider alternative policies under the APA because the moratorium would have been short-lived.

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