The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a closely-watched immigration case that could set a major precedent.
The Biden administration was questioned over its assumed authority to decide which people in the country illegally they can deport first. A pair of Republican attorneys general from Texas and Louisiana argued that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is violating federal immigration laws in doing so.
The nation’s highest court is considering a trio of issues distinct to the case and while it’s unclear which way the justices might swing, some did appear to chastise the Biden administration’s arguments.
“At the heart of the dispute is a September 2021 memo from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that laid out priorities for the arrest, detention, and deportation of certain non-citizens, reversing efforts by former President Donald Trump to increase deportations,” CNN reported. “Several of the conservative justices on Tuesday seemed ready to rule in favor of the states on a major threshold issue: whether Texas and Louisiana had the legal right to bring the challenge in the first place.”
In addressing whether the DHS guidelines were in conflict with two provisions of federal law, Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh cited that the law does note some immigrants “shall” be taken into custody or removed from the country, which appeared to suggest they were skeptical of the Biden administration’s assumed discretion.
“Shall means shall,” Roberts said. “Shouldn’t we just say what we think the law is,” he added while suggesting it ought to be left to other branches to “sort that out.”
The case was accepted by the Supreme Court after a district court judge blocked the DHS’s discretion in the matter.
“Using the words ‘discretion’ and ‘prioritization’ the Executive Branch claims the authority to suspend statutory mandates,” ruled U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. “The law does not sanction this approach.”
In April, former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, who focused a great deal on the former administration’s immigration mandates, said President Joe Biden’s reversals of his predecessor’s policies created chaos along the U.S.-Mexico border and are “impeachable.”
During an interview on Fox News, Miller said that Biden has “rubbished and trashed” the immigration system in the United States, arguing that Biden’s handling of immigration was “completely impeachable.”
“What this president has done is he has turned Congress into a mere suggestion box,” Miller protested.
“The entire Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs who can enter our country, how you apply for a visa, what rules you have to comply with, where you have to apply from — that entire system has been rubbished and trashed by this president as though he were an emperor. And so, it is completely impeachable,” he added.
“My organization has been involved in a number of lawsuits against his policies, and in each of those lawsuits, we lay out how he has violated the clear command of Congress and the clear command of the Constitution,” he continued.
“One of those cases that we litigated in partnership with Texas we won on Title 42. Another one, with respect to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he has been found to have broken the law again and again and again. And so yes, these are impeachable crimes, absolutely, especially because he has not complied with the court injunctions when he loses these lawsuits,” Miller concluded.
Interestingly enough, even a top official from the Obama administration agreed.
Jeh Johnson, the former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under Obama, said that Biden believes there is “no level of defense that can counteract the powerful push factors in Central America” that impel the huge surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.
During an interview on CBS, host Margaret Brennan asked: “When we hear from the administration that they could see as many as 18,000 migrants per day crossing that border, it seems incredible. Senate Democrats have said the administration is not prepared. Do you think they are?”
After claiming that DHS officials had informed him that they were “making preparations, that they are prepared, that there are resources, transportation in place for this level of migration on our southern border,” Johnson admitted, “Without a doubt, these are large numbers. DHS, I believe, has learned lessons from the past, in surges in the past, including when I was in office. But, still, numbers at these levels are difficult to handle on the southern border. Communities on the southern border, catholic charities, the volunteers, difficult to absorb these types of numbers under almost any scenario. It’s challenging for the Border Patrol, for ICE to properly process and track these individuals.”