As the first full week of President Biden’s administration begins, Republicans in Texas are not inclined to grant the new president a “honeymoon.” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, as he and his predecessor, and current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott did during the Obama administration, seems poised to engage in legal combat with the Democratic-led executive branch in Washington.
On Friday, Paxton filed suit against the Biden administration to challenge changes to federal immigration and enforcement policies.
Barbara Hines is founder of the University of Texas Law School Immigration Clinic, and an adjunct professor at the UT Law school. Hines told Texas Standard that Paxton opposes the Biden administration’s 100-day moratorium on deportations.
“The Trump administration entered into a memorandum of understanding with Texas and other states and localities – a questionable memorandum – which conferred contractual rights on the state of Texas to object to President Biden’s immigration policies,” Hines said.
Hines says it’s clear that the memorandum, which was signed two weeks before Biden took office, was intended to place roadblocks in the way of changes to the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Hines says that Biden and the executive branch have the authority to control immigration policies, as upheld by the Supreme Court when it allowed Trump’s ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries entering the United States.
Hines says the Trump administration’s memorandum confers “unprecedented rights” on the state to object to federal immigration policy.
Paxton is seeking an injunction to bar implementation of Biden’s executive order that suspends deportations.