The lawsuit claims that the Department of Homeland Security does not have the power to refuse to deport certain categories of low-threat undocumented immigrants.
Florida has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the Biden administration has violated aspects of the Administrative Procedure Act by instructing Homeland Security officials to selectively deport immigrants.
According to CBS-Miami, the lawsuit was filed by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, along with Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr.
The 24-page lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, alleges that the Biden administration cannot exercise discretion in deciding which undocumented immigrants to deport.
“[The Biden Administration] claims the discretion to decide for itself which aliens should be arrested, detained and removed, even if its policy preferences directly conflicts with the clear commands of Congress,” the lawsuit states.
“And it has used that claimed discretion to allow illegal immigrants guilty of drug trafficking, burglary, and other serious crimes to return to our communities upon release from state custody rather than arresting and removing them as federal law requires,” the complaint said.
Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr released a separate statement, claiming that Biden’s immigration policy “emboldens” illegal immigrants to cross the border.
“The Biden administration’s dangerous and unlawful immigration policy encourages illegal border crossings and poses a threat to law-abiding citizens across our state and nation,” Carr said. “This unprecedented attempt to circumvent federal immigration law ultimately emboldens criminals and undermines the efforts of our law enforcement officers who work each day to protect and defend our country and our communities. It is the paramount duty of government to protect person and property, and we will fight every day to ensure all Georgians are kept safe.”
Carr’s website claims that the Biden administration’s immigration policy specifically:
- Exceeds the authority of the Department of Homeland Security;
- Is “arbitrary and capricious”;
- Illegally bypasses congressional notice and comment; and
- Is otherwise unconstitutional.
The lawsuit suggests that recent guidance released by the Biden administration is “designed to thwart immigration enforcement, even where enforcement is required by federal statute.”
While Biden has instructed the Department of Homeland Security and its subsidiary agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to prioritize the deportation of “threats to national security,” persons who pose a “threat to public safety” by “engaging in serious criminal conduct,” and “threats to border security,” the lawsuit alleges that the administration has failed to adequately define what should constitute a “threat to public safety.”
The lawsuit also claims that I.C.E. has told certain states, including Texas, that it “was canceling deportation requests” for immigrants guilty of offenses including “evading arrest,” “drunken driving,” “drug possession,” and “domestic assault injuring a family member.”
The attorneys general have asked the court to set aside the Biden administration’s prevailing immigration guidance, and to award the involved plaintiff states legal fees, costs, and other applicable damages.