Trump judges vs. Biden:

Immigration priorities and migrant protection protocol

Part I

by Jose Enrique Perez

The Biden Administration had been delivering good news for immigrants month after month. However, people from the right, specifically, from Texas have been filing lawsuits against the Biden administration to stop every single change. How are they doing it? You guessed it right: With Federal judges appointed by Trump.

Part I will be about Biden’s Immigration Priorities and next month Part II will be about the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

On January 20, 2021, President Biden took possession. On that day, the then Secretary of Homeland Security David Pekoske issued a memorandum titled Civil Immigration Enforcement and Removal Policies and Priorities. On February 18, 2021, ICE Acting Director Tae D. Johnson issued an Interim Guidance: Civil Immigration Enforcement and Removal Priorities. On May 27, 2021, Acting General Counsel Joseph B. Maher issued a memorandum titled Implementing Interim Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities. These memoranda set interim guidelines for immigration enforcement, including providing guidance to ICE officers on prioritizing enforcement actions, custody decisions, the execution of final orders of removal, and other actions.

On May 27, 2021 the Principal Legal Advisor Trasviña issued Interim Guidance to OPLA Attorneys Regarding Civil Immigration Enforcement and Removal Policies and Priorities , specifically directing “all OPLA attorneys [(who are the immigration prosecutors)]… to exercise prosecutorial discretion … at all stages of the enforcement process and at the earliest moment practicable in order to best conserve prosecutorial resources and in recognition of the important interests at stake.” Prosecutorial discretion would consist of a range of actions including, but not limited to, whether to issue a Notice to Appear, cancellation of an NTA, stipulation to relief, administrative closure, termination, and continuances.

On August 19, 2021 U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a preliminary injunction in Texas v. United States, 6:21-cv-16 (S.D. Tex. Aug. 19, 2021). The injunction specifically enjoined implementation of the Priorities memoranda nationwide. While the language of the decision focuses specifically on detention, the injunction prohibits enforcement and implementation of several sections of the memos, including sections that go beyond custody decisions. On August 23, 2021, the court granted a stay the preliminary injunction until August 30, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. “to allow the Defendants time to seek relief at the appellate level.” Now, the Fifth Circuit has also gotten involved and order a stay of the injunction indefinitely “until further order” of that court.

So, the short-lived Immigration Priorities of Biden which was bringing happiness throughout the United States has now stopped because a Judge appointed by Trump wants to micromanage the federal government. We now must wait for a decision from the Fifth Circuit which is a very conservative court.

You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about immigration policies. Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with this program or any new immigration policies. Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.

I represent individuals in immigration. If you have any questions or concerns about an immigration case or potential case, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at The Law Office of Jose Perez has now moved and is located at 659 West Onondaga Street, Upper Level, Syracuse, New York 13204. Now with offices in Buffalo and Rochester!!! Please look for my next article in the October edition and stay safe, get vaccinated and stay away from the Coronavirus. In addition to our current practice of Personal Injuries, Work Accidents, Social Security and Immigration, we now also practice Criminal, Traffic, Family, DWI and Divorce.

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