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SCOTUS To Hear U.S. v. Texas: A Challenge to President Biden on Immigration

In a Nutshell

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today in the U.S. v. Texas case, which addresses Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas' decision to limit deportation of undocumented immigrants based on specific criteria.

Written by Immigration Help News Team
Written November 30, 2022


We all know the federal government sets rules on whether or not someone can get a visa, become a legal permanent resident, or become a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization. However, states, counties, and cities around the country often enact laws that can have a profound effect on undocumented immigrants, DACA recipients, asylees, and refugees. 

Some states, like California and Massachusetts, have created favorable immigration laws, such as those allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses. Others, such as Texas and Louisiana, have enacted laws, policies, or rules that promote the deportation and/or arrest of undocumented immigrants. State and federal authorities often clash when there are major differences in what either of them wants. This is at the heart of the case

On September 30, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas issued a memo explaining that the U.S. government doesn’t have the resources necessary to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country. Instead, Secretary Mayorkas outlined priorities for deporting only certain immigrants. In the memo, he explains that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will focus on deporting:

  • People who might be a national security or terrorist threat

  • People with criminal records

  • Recent arrivals to the U.S.

In June 2022, U.S. Court for the Southern District of Texas Judge Drew Tipton ruled that the DHS memo is “arbitrary and capricious.” In short, the states of Texas and Louisiana challenged the federal government because they feel more people should be deported. 

Judge Tipton’s ruling invalidated the memo. However, the  U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has put this ruling on hold until the federal government can appeal the decision. The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments on this case.

On November 29, 2022, U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar explained that the Department of Homeland Security “has never implemented the INA in the manner that [the states] suggest.” Additionally, judges pointed out that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would have to find more resources to detain immigrants should SCOTUS rule in Texas and Louisiana’s favor.


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