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U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden’s 100-day pause on deportation from taking effect in Texas. The decision will prevent the Biden administration from stopping deportation for about 14 days. Tipton said the administration did not explain the reason for the policy change and possibly violated the federal immigration law that calls for noncitizens to be removed from the U.S. within 90 days of an immigration judge ordering deportation. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued the policy violates an agreement Texas made with the Department of Homeland Security before Trump left office. Biden’s ban could still continue once Tipton issues a final ruling. Vox
Montana GOP Chair Stops Testimony For Sanctuary City Ban
Montana House Judiciary Committee Republicans stopped testimony from two opponents of a bill that would ban sanctuary cities in Montana after they said the bill supported white supremacist views. Committee Chair Rep. Barry Usher (R) said the bill was not associated with race and refused to hear testimony that brought up racism. Still, Usher allowed testimony from bill proponents who spoke adversely about immigrants. The bill requires local law enforcement to adhere to federal immigration law and lets the state’s attorney general seek civil action against local jurisdictions that don’t follow the laws. Supporters of the bill claimed sanctuary cities would boost criminal activity. The Associated Press
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DOJ Cancels ‘Zero Tolerance’ Border Policy
The Department of Justice on Tuesday canceled the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” border policy that caused the separation of migrant families who entered the U.S. illegally. In a memo, Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson said the DOJ has “long emphasized” that prosecution should consider whether an individual violated federal law and if there’s evidence to prove a violation. A Justice Department spokesperson explained Trump’s policy was “inconsistent with the Department’s longstanding principle that we exercise judgement and make individualized assessments in criminal cases.” Biden is slated to sign an executive order on Friday creating a task force to reunite separated families. The Hill
ICE Detainee Contracts COVID-19 at Yuba County Jail
Juan Jose Erazo Herrera tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 7, days after his symptoms began while in custody at California’s Yuba County Jail. Herrera had repeatedly told ICE officials at the Sacramento-area jail that they needed to do more to stop the spread, and participated in hunger strikes last year over unsafe conditions. More than 120 inmates and nine ICE detainees at the facility have tested positive for the virus since last month. Erazo Herrera claims he was put into a small, concrete cell with no windows, a filthy toilet, moldy walls, and a bed covered in dust and other people’s hairs for 12 days before testing positive. KQED
Dreamer Is Optimistic But Skeptical Of New Immigration Reform
Biden’s proposed U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 lays out an eight-year path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants who were residing in the U.S. on or before Jan. 2021. The reform will also let Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients receive green cards immediately if they are working or in school, raising hopes and skepticism among Dreamers. “I will say although I am hopeful, my patience is running extremely low at this point,” said Omar Salinas-Chacón, a DACA recipient in Kentucky. His family left El Salvador in 2001 after gang members kidnapped his father and grandfather, and has been laying low since. LEX 18
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