Supreme Court Blocks Biden Administration Immigration Guidelines

On Thursday, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to President Joe Biden’s immigration policy, voting to deny a bid from his administration to reinstate immigration guidelines that had been suspended by a federal judge in Texas.

Announced last September, the Biden administration guidelines undermined the enforcement of the country’s immigration laws, directing Department of Homeland Security officials to only arrest and deport certain migrants, including national security threats and immigrants who had recently crossed the border.

After Texas and Louisiana sued the federal government over the new immigration priorities, U.S. District Court Judge Drew Tipton suspended the guidelines, ruling that they violated federal law and burdened border states where illegal immigrants were released and allowed to stay.

In a 5-4 ruling delivered Thursday, the Supreme Court decided to temporarily maintain Tipton’s suspension of the guidelines. The court also decided to take up an appeal of the case and hear oral arguments in December of this year.

In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security said it was “obligated to and will continue to abide” by the suspension of the Biden administration guidelines.

“In the interim, ICE officers will make enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis in a professional and responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement officials and in a way that best protects against the greatest threats to the homeland,” the statement said.

“ICE officers apply prosecutorial discretion when making apprehension and removal decisions, as do law enforcement officers in different agencies and offices throughout the country,” the statement continued.

Thursday’s ruling comes as Biden continues to receive criticism for his administration’s handling of the immigration crisis at the southern border. In 2022, U.S. Border Patrol has encountered a record-breaking number of migrants, including two back-to-back months — April and May — which set record highs for the number of immigrants attempting to cross the border.

Under Biden’s guidance, the year-to-date migrant encounter total has already surpassed 2 million individuals. In addition, some 200,000 migrants are known to have crossed the border, been apprehended and released by law enforcement, and then failed to appear at their court hearing.