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US judge blocks Biden’s 100-day ban on deportations

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A US Border Patrol agent detains Central American migrants as they turn themselves in to request asylum after crossing into El Paso, Texas, on Jan. 22, 2021. (Reuters photo)

A federal judge has barred the US government from enforcing a 100-day ban on most deportations, dealing a blow to a key immigration priority of President Joe Biden.

During his campaign, Biden pledged to enact a 100-day moratorium on deportations if elected, but that proposal contrasted sharply with the harsh immigration policies by his predecessor Donald Trump, a Republican.

On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security began enforcing the new approach which applied to almost anyone who entered the US without authorization before November.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a complaint on the same day, arguing the state would suffer irreparable harm if the deportation freeze was allowed.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas slated Paxton, asserting his suit should not be allowed to proceed.

“The administration’s pause on deportations is not only lawful but necessary to ensure that families are not separated and people are not returned to danger needlessly while the new administration reviews past actions,” Kate Huddleston of the union said in a statement.

Nevertheless, Judge Drew Tipton of the Southern District of Texas, in response to Paxton’s request, issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday, temporarily blocking the moratorium.

The Biden administration is expected to appeal the ruling that blocks the policy nationwide for 14 days.

Tipton, an appointee of Trump, said the Biden administration had failed “to provide any concrete, reasonable justification for a 100-day pause on deportations.”

His order represents a victory for Texas' Republican leaders, who often sought to stop programs enacted by former Democratic President Barack Obama.

Trump had suspended immigration to the United States. In 2016, he promised to build a wall on the US border with Mexico, and launched a crackdown on both legal and illegal entries into the country soon after he assumed office.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, has arrested and deported tens of thousands of refugees from the country.

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