Last Friday, Texas Attorney General Paxton — in partnership with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry — brought home yet another victory against the Biden Administration in federal court.  

In early 2021 — and then again in late 2021— Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a rule purporting to give immigration law enforcement officials discretion over detaining certain classes of criminal illegal aliens. Not only was this bad policy, but bad law too: Federal law mandates detention of these aliens, and the President has no discretion to order otherwise. 

Attorney General Paxton sued to halt the rule change, arguing that the Administration was violating federal law when it refused to take custody of dangerous criminal illegal aliens. Paxton’s lawsuit also challenged the Administration’s refusal to issue “detainers” to local law enforcement. Detainers afford federal law enforcement an opportunity to take locally apprehended aliens into their custody and, without them, aliens are free to roam American soil. In sum, Paxton argued that the Biden rule was contrary to law, arbitrary and capricious, failed to go through certain requisite procedures, and should therefore be set aside by the court.  

After over a year of litigation, Texas secured a final judgment, slapping down DHS’s detention-discretion rule. Federal District Court Judge Drew Tipton agreed with Texas that the rule is “an implausible construction of federal law that flies in the face of the limitations imposed by Congress.” “Whatever the outer limits of its authority, the Executive Branch does not have the authority to change the law,” Judge Tipton added.  

“This ruling is just another step in restoring order to our Southern Border,” Attorney General Paxton said. “I continue to be baffled at the blatant disregard for the law that the Biden Administration has repeatedly shown. It is beyond logic as to why they would want to break the law and threaten the safety of fellow Americans. If President Biden thinks the State of Texas isn’t ready to fight him and his disastrous border policies on every front, he’s dead wrong. I’ll just keep suing him in court—and winning.” 

The Biden Administration has filed its notice of appeal with the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  

Read a copy of the federal district court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order here