In a stunning Order, a federal judge in the Southern District of Texas has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction restraining the Administration from enforcing key sections of its January 20, 2021 Memorandum entitled “Interim Civil Enforcement Guidelines”. The case is styled “The State of Texas and the State of Louisiana v. The United States of America et al”.
The case, filed by both Texas and Louisiana, challenges the Administration’s civil enforcement priorities which the plaintiffs allege conflict with the direct language of two federal statutes. In his Order, Judge Drew Tipton of the Victoria Division held that the Executive Branch could not implement a policy that directly conflicts with two federal statutes which provide that the Government “shall” detain certain aliens when they are released from custody or during their removal period. Prior Administrations have each set enforcement priorities. The Administration is certain to appeal.