US appeals court reverses injunction against Biden immigration policy
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US appeals court reverses injunction against Biden immigration policy

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Tuesday reversed a preliminary injunction against a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo prioritizing the deportation of dangerous immigrants.

In September 2021 the DHS issued a memo outlining immigration enforcement policies and priorities. The memo prioritized the deportation of noncitizens deemed to be threats to national security, public safety, and border security. In response, Arizona, Montana, and Ohio sued in the Southern District of Ohio to stop the implementation of the memo’s guidance. That court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocked DHS from relying on the memo’s priorities and policies.

The Sixth Circuit reversed the preliminary injunction, ruling that the memo’s guidance does not “tie the hands of immigration officers.” Chief Judge Sutton delivered the opinion and ruled that the memo’s guidance “does not compel any action.” The court ruled that the memo does not inflict direct harm upon states and is not a reviewable agency action.

In addition, the court ruled that the absence of the preliminary injunction should not irreparably harm the three states. If anything, the injunction causes more harm to DHS because it interferes with its authority to exercise enforcement discretion and allocate resources to its priorities. The court stated “the equity scale tips in the National Government’s favor.”

The case has been remanded back to the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio for further proceedings.