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No Surprise: Texas AG Ken Paxton Doesn’t Seem to Believe in Democracy Much

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After attacking our democracy and going after Dreamers, the notoriously corrupt Paxton is now trying to compel Biden to enforce Trump’s cruel immigration policies

Yesterday, federal judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee based in Texas, issued a nationwide 14-day Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to halt a new Biden administration policy that paused most deportations for 100 days. The pause is an essential element of the new administration’s approach. They want to pause, review and reset so as to not perpetuate cruelty and chaos caused by Trump’s war on immigrants. The pause will enable the Biden team to build back better – in a quest to transform America’s deportation pipeline and mass detention policies into a humane, fair, and functional immigration system.

The lawsuit, brought by indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, is based in part on an 11th-hour agreement between Texas and the Trump administration. It was signed in order to facilitate precisely this type of lawsuit. Attorney General Ken Paxton is no stranger to controversy and corruption. He is under indictment, under investigation, and he aided and abetted Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election. He also led the fight to end DACA, despite the fact that Texas is home to so many Dreamers. Paxton is now trying to force the Biden administration to continue the Trump administration’s demonization and deportation of immigrants. 

According to Mario Carrillo, the Texas-based Campaign Manager for America’s Voice, “It’s no surprise that Ken Paxton, someone who has tried relentlessly to end DACA and deport Dreamers, is now trying to carry on Trump’s cruelty and deportation machinery. By trying to block the Biden Administration’s efforts to pause deportations for 100 days, Paxton is trying to curry favor with Trump’s base, undermine the new President, and prevent the top-to-bottom review of our deportation priorities that Biden has requested. Let’s not forget that Paxton is under federal investigation for corruption, already indicted for state felony securities fraud, was a supporter and enabler of the U.S. Capitol attack of January 6 – and is the only State Attorney General who wouldn’t sign a letter condemning that attack. The Texas GOP, once a party that realized the contributions of immigrants to our state, has now gone full nativist. This is another signal that instead of working on the issue in good faith, Paxton and other Republicans, including our two Senators, would rather appeal to the worst instincts of Trump voters. Texans deserve better than Ken Paxton.”

According to David Leopold, Chair of Immigration at Ulmer & Berne and former President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said:  “The law is clear, the Biden administration has broad discretion when it comes to enforcing the immigration law, including effectuating deportations. It’s eminently reasonable that after four years of Trump’s chaotic, often cruel, immigration enforcement regime, the Biden administration would briefly pause deportations to prioritize threats to national security, public safety and border security.  Moreover, President Biden has taken office in the midst of a global pandemic that has killed nearly 450,000 Americans. A Department of Homeland Security reordering of resources, which necessarily includes a reassessment of COVID-19 and other public health protocols, is critical to the safety of the American public, including DHS officers and noncitizens. Not only is the administration’s pause on deportation clearly legal, it’s a moral imperative.”