ACLU Comment on Judge Granting Temporary Restraining Order Halting Biden Administration’s Deportation Pause

January 26, 2021 3:00 pm

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HOUSTON — A district court judge today granted a request from Texas to temporarily block the Biden administration’s new policy halting some deportations for 100 days. The ACLU of Texas and American Civil Liberties Union had filed a brief asking the court to deny the request.

“This lawsuit should not be allowed to proceed,” said Kate Huddleston, attorney with the ACLU of Texas. “Paxton sought to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election by attempting to baselessly suppress votes; now he is attempting to force the Biden administration to follow Trump’s xenophobic policies. The administration’s pause on deportations is not only lawful but necessary to ensure that families are not separated and people are not returned to danger needlessly while the new administration reviews past actions.”

On Friday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration to block a Department of Homeland Security policy putting in place a 100-day hold on most deportations.

The ACLU of Texas and ACLU’s brief argued that the state of Texas had not proven irreparable harm, a requirement for their request of a temporary restraining order to block the president’s executive order, and that the lawsuit is baseless.

“The voters rejected the Trump administration’s disastrous immigration policies, but Texas is now seeking to keep the Biden administration from turning the page,” said Cody Wofsy, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “This initial, tentative, and hasty decision is incorrect, and we are confident it will be set aside as the case proceeds.”

The tentative order, called a temporary restraining order, can remain in effect up to 14 days, and may be extended another 14 days. To keep the policy blocked after that, Texas will need to seek a preliminary injunction.


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