Regulatory policy

Supreme Court rejects Biden’s attempt to revive DHS immigration policy

The Supreme Court on Thursday denied a Biden administration request to reinstate a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immigration enforcement policy that had been blocked by a lower court, as judges scheduled the case for oral arguments in December.

The court’s vote was 5-4, with four members – liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ketanji Brown Jackson and Elena Kagan and conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett – indicating they would have sided with the administration in temporarily blocking the lower court order as the case unfolds.

At issue are DHS guidelines last September that directed immigration officials to prioritize certain groups of undocumented immigrants for deportation over others, with an emphasis on those who pose a threat to public safety or national security. The policy also directed officers to conduct a more comprehensive assessment of non-citizens before making an arrest or removal.

The policy prompted several lawsuits, including a challenge by Texas and Louisiana that secured a legal victory in lower courts.

A Trump-appointed U.S. judge in Texas sided with the challengers last month, overturning the DHS policy after finding it violated federal immigration law. The Biden administration was rebuffed when it petitioned the United States Court of Appeals on 5e Circuit to block the district court’s judgment, prompting the administration’s request to the Supreme Court.

“This judgment thwarts the direction of the secretary of the department he leads and disrupts DHS’s efforts to focus its limited resources on noncitizens who pose the most serious threat to national security, public safety, and the integrity of borders of our nation,” the administration said. judges in court documents.

The Supreme Court’s order on Thursday denying the administration’s stay request also treated its court filing as a formal appeal motion, which the justices granted. The court has scheduled the case for hearing the first week of December, the third month of the court’s next term.

It was the first time Jackson, the new judge, had her name appear on a Supreme Court order.

—Updated 7:05 p.m.