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U.S. judge blocks Biden's deportation freeze

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A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked U.S. President Joe Biden's move to halt the deportation of many immigrants for a 100-day period, in a blow to the new administration's ambitious immigration agenda.

The judge, an appointee of former President Donald Trump in the Southern District of Texas, issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday that blocks the policy nationwide for 14 days, stemming from a legal challenge by Texas.

After Biden took office last week, the top official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a memo that ordered a half on many deportations, fulfilling one of Biden's campaign promises.

But in a complaint filed on Friday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said the state would face irreparable harm if the deportation freeze was allowed to go into effect, saying education and healthcare costs would increase as more immigrants remained in Texas illegally.

In Tuesday's order, the judge said Texas had "a substantial likelihood of success" on at least two of its claims, including that the deportation freeze violated a federal immigration law stating that authorities "shall remove" immigrants with final deportation orders within 90 days.

The Biden administration is expected to appeal the ruling.

Video Transcript

- A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked US President Joe Biden's move to halt the deportation of many immigrants for a 100-day period in a blow to the new administration's ambitious immigration agenda. The judge, an appointee of former President Donald Trump in the Southern District of Texas, issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday that blocks the policy nationwide for 14 days, stemming from a legal challenge by Texas.

PRESIDENT BIDEN: And I thought with the state of the nation today, there's no time to waste.

- After Biden took office last week, the top official at the US Department of Homeland Security issued a memo that ordered a halt on many deportations, fulfilling one of Biden's campaign promises. But in a complaint filed on Friday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said the state would face irreparable harm if the deportation freeze was allowed to go into effect, saying education and health care costs would increase as more immigrants remained in Texas illegally.

In Tuesday's order, the judge said Texas had a, quote, "substantial likelihood of success" on at least two of its claims, including that the deportation freeze violated a federal immigration law, stating that authorities shall remove immigrants with final deportation orders within 90 days. The Biden administration is expected to appeal the ruling.