The US Supreme Court refused to allow Biden’s change in immigration enforcement

Migrants from Central and South America walk along a dirt path after crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico into the United States on July 16, 2022 in Roma, Texas, U.S. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

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WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday refused to reinstate President Joe Biden’s policy that shifted the focus of U.S. immigration enforcement toward public safety threats.

In a 5-4 vote, the justices rejected the Biden administration’s request to block a federal judge’s ruling that bars immigration officials from implementing enforcement guidelines while litigation over the policy’s legality continues. But the court said in a brief order that it would fast-track the Biden administration’s appeal and hear oral arguments in December.

Biden’s policy is a departure from the tougher approach taken by the Democratic president’s Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, who sought to expand the range of immigrants subject to arrest and removal. Biden took office last year promising a more humane approach to immigration.

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In announcing the new guidelines last September, Biden’s administration noted that U.S. officials have long relied on setting enforcement priorities because of the 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.

The policy would give agencies more discretion to consider individual circumstances and prioritize threats to national security or public safety.

Republicans have criticized Biden’s administration, saying fewer detentions and deportations have encouraged more illegal border crossings.

Texas and Louisiana sued Biden’s policy in federal court in Texas, arguing that under federal law officers lack discretion and are obligated to detain immigrants who commit a wide range of crimes or who have been removed.

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U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton agreed on June 10, suspending the policy nationwide. Tipton was appointed by Trump. read more

On July 6, the New Orleans-based 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals declined to stay Tipton’s ruling pending an appeal.

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Reporting by Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Otis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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