US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has issued a memo to ICE’s acting director last September, directing the agency to prioritize its enforcement efforts against undocumented or removable immigrants who “pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security and thus threaten America’s well-being.” This straight-forward, legitimate and necessary directive is now being challenged by United States District Judge Drew B. Tipton, a Trump administration appointee from Texas, who issued an order to vacate Secretary Mayorkas’ order. The case is now on the “shadow docket” at the Supreme Court.
A similar directive setting enforcement policy was in effect during the Obama administration, but it was replaced by a more aggressive approach during the Trump administration, which took the position that a broad range of people here illegally should be deported. Under President Joe Biden, DHS sought to restore the earlier priorities.
What Federal Law Stipulates
Federal law provides that the secretary of Homeland Security “shall be responsible” for “establishing national immigration enforcement policies and priorities.” Thus, immigration enforcement agencies such as ICE are under the control of a senior political official who is responsible to an elected president.
In light of this provision, Homeland Security secretaries have issued similar memos for enforcement priorities in 2000, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2017.
The Supreme Court has warned federal judges like Tipton to refrain from second-guessing these kinds of discretionary judgments by law enforcement agencies. As the Court held in Heckler v. Chaney (1985), “an agency’s decision not to take enforcement action should be presumed immune from judicial review.”
For more details about this case, please read the complete article in Vox.com HERE
We will update you on the decision from the Supreme Court when the time comes.