A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas broke the law when he wrote a memo that crafted new instructions on the classes of illegal immigrants who could be arrested and deported.
The instructions were challenged by the states of Arizona, Montana, and Ohio, arguing that it was not the Executive Branch’s role to determine such things.
Judge Michael J. Newman agreed and ruled that such decisions must come from Congress. He wrote:
“DHS contends that seemingly mandatory statutes must be read flexibly to permit efficient law enforcement. At bottom, that is what this dispute is about: can the Executive displace clear congressional command in the name of resource allocation and enforcement goals? Here, the answer is no.”
Mayorkas had written that ICE should focus solely on those who are a national security threat rather than those who pose just a criminal threat. At the time, he said, “The fact that an individual is a removable noncitizen should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them.” He added, “We focus our resources because they are limited and because of our dedication to doing justice.”
Judge Newman said that laws already in place “impose a mandatory duty on DHS to detain certain noncitizens” and that the memo “neglects these commands and arbitrarily disregards the harms of nonenforcement.”
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