Florida Seeks Injunction Against ICE’s Interim Immigration Enforcement Guidelines

Press Releases

March 18, 2021

IRLI brief details human, financial costs of White House executive order

WASHINGTON—On Tuesday, the Immigration Reform Law Institute filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in support of the State of Florida’s request for a preliminary injunction against the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement priorities set forth in ICE’s February 18, 2021, interim guidance memorandum.

In its brief, IRLI argues that ICE’s enforcement priorities violate the law because they prevent immigration officers from taking mandatory enforcement actions against a broad range of aliens. For instance, under ICE’s enforcement guidelines, only terrorists, spies, other national security threats, those who entered the United States after November 1, 2020, aggravated felons, and criminal gang members may be apprehended or removed. Any other alien, including other criminal aliens, may not be removed or detained. As Florida demonstrated in its request for an injunction, DHS is declining to take enforcement actions against criminal aliens that fall outside the narrow enforcement priorities by refusing to issue immigration detainers or to take those criminal aliens into custody as required by law.

The case is the latest effort by states to push back against the Biden administration’s failure to enforce immigration laws and protect the American people. Last month a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted the Lone Star State’s motion for a preliminary injunction against DHS 100-day deportation moratorium. IRLI and Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA), a project of IRLI, had both filed friend-of-court briefs in that case.

“The arguments of these states could not be more legitimate,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “Many of these aliens are facing final orders of removal because of their criminal activity in the United States. Keeping these people in the country comes with a cost, both in terms of finances and, more importantly, the human cost of those victimized by the actions of these criminals and others who will be drawn to the United States by the magnet of loose immigration enforcement. It is simply wrong for Washington to expect the states to bear these burdens because of their own reckless dictates.”

The case is Florida v. United States, No. 8:21-cv-00541 (M.D. Fla.).

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org

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