An administration devoted to destroying the legal framework for immigration just got a lesson in the law.
Since President Joe Biden took office 14 months ago and unleashed a flood of illegal immigrants from the southern border to points throughout the U.S., he’s been aided every step of the way by a disgrace of a homeland security secretary more interested in hobbling his department’s own agents than enforcing his country’s law.
On Tuesday, a federal judge in Ohio, said “no.”
According to CBS News, District Judge Michael Newman — appointed in 2020 by then-President Donald Trump — issued a nationwide injunction again enforcement of parts of a memo issued in September by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that limited the cases where Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents should seek to deport illegal aliens.
Newman ruled in favor of attorneys general from three Republican states – Arizona, Montana and Ohio – who challenged the Mayorkas memo as flouting federal law under the guise of making law enforcement more efficient.
Under the Trump administration, according to the Washington Examiner, ICE agents were directed to pursue any illegal immigrant for possible deportation, including those arrested for misdemeanors such as drunk driving. The idea being that “illegal immigration” is, in fact, illegal, and needs to be treated that way.
Under Biden’s DHS, it’s a different day.
Mayorkas’ memo instructed ICE agents “to focus on arresting immigrants found to pose a threat to national security or public safety, as well as migrants who recently crossed a U.S. border illegally.”
And it was all about how illegal immigrants are just pursuing the American dream.
Can the courts rein in a lawless presidency?
“In exercising our discretion, we are guided by the fact that the majority of undocumented noncitizens who could be subject to removal have been contributing members of our communities for years,” Mayorkas wrote.
(Note: When Mayorkas uses the phrase “undocumented noncitizens,” he means “illegal aliens.” Duplicitous euphemisms are the refuge of the weak.)
“The fact that an individual is a removable noncitizen therefore should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them. We will use our discretion and focus our resources in a more targeted way. Justice and our country’s well-being require it.”
Well, by now, every American should be well aware that when Democrats use the word “justice,” they’re not picturing the statue of the blindfolded woman with the scales that has symbolized the concept in Western culture for centuries. They’re talking about using the law – or not enforcing the law – to push progressive values. (Of course, they’re not above using extralegal means, like “mostly peaceful” riots, to make their point, too.)
And when it comes to anyone in the Biden administration talking about a concern for our country’s well-being, the fact that it’s engaged in smuggling illegal immigrants into communities far from the southern border, while at the same time turning a blind eye to rising crime and rising inflation, should give any sensible person doubts about whether Democratic leaders mean “well-being” the same way decent human beings do.
(The fact of the matter is, Mayorkas has hardly covered himself in glory at DHS, becoming better known for his willingness to crucify Border Patrol agents for doing their jobs than any commitment to the security of his countrymen. His Border Patrol agents know it, too.)
In short, no even-halfway honest person, on any point on the political spectrum, seriously believes the Biden administration is committed to enforcing immigration law. Virtually daily experience since Jan. 20, 2021, proves exactly the opposite.
But spurious rationale aside, Newman’s ruling cut to the heart of the matter: Mayorkas’ memo was arrogating to himself, and to the Biden administration, the authority to decide what the law is.
And that, Newsman’s ruling stated, was going too far.
The judge, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, wrote:
“The states sue because they believe DHS skirted Congress’s immigration enforcement mandates when it issued a policy that prioritizes certain high-risk noncitizens for apprehension and removal. DHS contends that seemingly mandatory statutes must be read flexibly to permit efficient law enforcement. At bottom, that is what this dispute is about: can the Executive displace clear congressional command in the name of resource allocation and enforcement goals? Here, the answer is no.”
He then quoted a line from a 1952 Supreme Court decision that should be carved over the Oval Office door as a reminder no matter which party is in the White House:
“In the framework of our Constitution, the President’s power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker.”
It’s a line Democrats have shown increasing problems with in the 21st century. President Barack Obama’s two administrations were basically defined by his disdain for the law. (Obama’s and then-Attorney General Eric Holder’s refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, for instance, or his own decision to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy for illegal immigration when he himself had said over and over he lacked the authority to do it.)
When it comes to illegal immigration, Biden’s first year in office has been more of the same (while using his office’s powers to destroy parts of the economy the left despises).
Among the responses on social media, Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw might have put it best: “Enforce. The. Law.”
It shouldn’t take judicial orders for Mayorkas to actually enforce the law.
Enforce. The. Law. https://t.co/JMIuP2gxJq
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) March 22, 2022
But he wasn’t the only one.
Now, the question is: will Biden defy yet another court injunction?
— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) March 22, 2022
ICE needs to be allowed to do their jobs, period. Same thing with CBP. We are a sovereign nation with borders & laws that need to be enforced.
— Don’t be an Arse! (@Jradams74) March 23, 2022
According to the Washington Examiner, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen issued a statement calling Newman’s ruling “a great victory for the rule of law, border security, and public safety across the country.”
“President Biden’s open border policies make it easier for the Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs into our country, which is part of the reason we’re seeing such an increase in violent crime,” the statement said, according to the Examiner.
“I hope the Biden administration will follow the court order and start following the law when it comes to deportations, particularly for those illegal aliens who have prior criminal convictions.”
Considering the behavior of the Biden administration so far, that’s a pretty slim hope. And it gets slimmer, considering Biden was the No. 2 man in the all-but-lawless administration of Barack Obama.
But there is hope that Newman’s ruling delivered the message that the Biden administration can’t ignore simply override the will of Congress.
And if every American who cares about the country makes sure that control of Congress flips in the November midterms, it’s going to be impossible for Biden to ignore.