In U.S. v. Texas, broad questions over immigration enforcement and states’ ability to challenge federal policies
The Supreme Court will hear oral argument on Tuesday in a dispute over the Biden administration’s authority to set immigration policy. Texas and Louisiana are challenging a federal policy that prioritizes certain groups of unauthorized immigrants for arrest and deportation, arguing that it violates federal law. But the Biden administration and its supporters counter that a ruling for the states would have sweeping implications – not only for immigration policy but also for states’ ability to sue the federal government when they disagree with its actions.
The policy at the heart of United States v. Texas is outlined in a September 2021 memorandum by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on the federal government’s priorities for immigration enforcement. Explaining that there are over 11 million noncitizens currently in the United States who could be subject to deportation, but that the Department of Homeland Security does not have the resources to apprehend and deport all of them, the memorandum instructed immigration officials to prioritize the apprehension and deportation of three groups of noncitizens: suspected terrorists, people who have committed crimes, and those caught recently at the border. Mayorkas’ memo resembles immigration-enforcement policies enacted under President Barack Obama and other prior administrations, though not Donald Trump, who sought to limit the role of discretion in immigration enforcement.
Howe, A. (2022, November). In U.S. v. Texas, broad questions over immigration enforcement and states’ ability to challenge federal policies. Scotus Blog. https://www.scotusblog.com/2022/11/in-u-s-v-texas-broad-questions-over-i...