COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Federal guidance prioritizing the deportation of people in the country illegally who pose the greatest public safety risk can be implemented, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
At issue is a September directive from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that paused deportation unless individuals had committed acts of terrorism, espionage or “egregious threats to public safety.” The guidance of President Joe Biden's administration updated the policy under the administration of then-President Donald Trump, which removed people in the country illegally regardless of criminal history or community ties.
A federal judge put the Biden policy on hold after Arizona, Ohio and Montana sued to stop it, arguing it would lead to an increase in crime and strain law enforcement resources. After the government appealed, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the judge's preliminary injunction.
The appeals court said states couldn't prove the injuries they alleged, and said the guidance only instructs federal agents on how to enforce a law the national government has considerable authority over.
The Homeland Security guidance “does not impose any direct costs on the States or threaten the loss of any federal funding,” wrote chief circuit Judge Jeff Sutton.
Messages were left with the Arizona, Ohio and Montana attorneys general seeking comment.
Andrew Welsh-huggins, The Associated Press