Biden’s Immigration Enforcement Priorities Face the Judgment of the Supreme Court

Posted on 12/01/22


The first immigration case on the Supreme Court’s docket will have significant implications for the Biden administration and its discretion on removing undocumented immigrants. Earlier this year, a federal court sided in favor of Texas’s challenge to the DHS’s 2021 “Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law” and effectively nullified its implementation. The guidelines sought to prioritize undocumented immigrants for deportation who posed security or safety risks. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the Biden Administration’s appeal during its new term, setting the groundwork for a significant immigration ruling.


In September of 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas announced “Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law.” The principle focus of the memorandum sought to prioritize the deportation of illegal immigrants that have committed criminal acts such as terrorism, drug trafficking, or were recent border crossers. The immigration enforcement procedures aimed to implement deportation primacy based on public safety risks. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials would once again have their own judgment in which cases they should pursue through prosecutorial discretion. With ICE plagued by limited resources and congress’s failure to act on reshaping American immigration laws, such enforcement guidelines would have offered a feasible solution on the deportation issue.

With over eleven million undocumented immigrants in the country, the Mayorkas memorandum outlined a common sense immigration policy that held the agency accountable while effectively using agency resources. Considering the resources necessary to find, process, detain, and legally deport all undocumented immigrants Mayorkas set forward policy initiatives targeting specific high priority groups. Unfortunately, in an attempt to derail the enactment of the policy, several Republican

states sued taking on federal immigration policy. The immigration dilemma continues to plague the executive where such legal challenges have been made to suppress and limit the Biden administration’s ability to promote fair immigration policies. Congress’s lack of a solution for immigrants forces the executive to find some reasonable pathway to handle immigration. Discretion of enforcing immigration laws has distanced itself from the executive and has found its way into the court system and now faces the ultimate judgment of the courts.

Where The Case Stands Now

Shortly after the Mayorkas doctrine was announced, Texas and Louisiana sued in federal court in an attempt to block the policy. In June of this year, Federal Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, handed down a decision that effectively dismantled the Mayorkas doctrine. Tipton’s order muddies the deportation process and seemingly stretches resources across the entire immigrant population, leaving behind a disjointed deportation process. Rather than focusing strained resources on select populations like terrorists, drug and human traffickers, and sex offenders ICE will be tasked with deporting even those who have been a vibrant part of the US for years. Deporting all undocumented immigrants would have substantial ramifications in the workforce as a significant percentage of the undocumented immigrant population contribute to the vital economic functions of our nation. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case back in July but stopped short of allowing the policy to go back in effect.

The Law Offices of James A. Welcome will continue to monitor the ongoing Supreme Court oral arguments and update you when a final ruling is made. If you have any questions regarding this specific case or how it may impact you as an undocumented immigrant, please feel free to reach out.

Contact an Experienced Legal Immigration Attorney

We understand how stressful it can be when the possibility of being deported is leveraged against you or someone you care about. Even as an undocumented you have

legal rights in the United States. If you or someone you know has an ongoing immigration case or is seeking to begin the immigration journey, a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney may make all the difference. Immigration law is complex and rapidly changing. Ongoing legal challenges or new executive actions can have an impact on your specific circumstances. Having a competent and well-versed immigration attorney will ensure that these changes don’t go without regard. Your immigration attorney should take every obstacle or opportunity into account and keep you well informed. Make sure to do your research before hiring an attorney. Read the information they have on their site and look into what others are saying. If you have any questions about our Connecticut Immigration law firm, reach out.

Attorney James A. Welcome is not one to back away from advocating for the legal rights of his clients. He has helped hundreds of families obtain a favorable outcome even when faced with trying situations. With each of our clients, we strive to deliver personable and experience-based representation. Attorney Welcome always strives to hear what his clients have to say and is not going to back down from fighting for the rights of his clients. If you’re ready to speak with a member of our team, consider setting up a confidential immigration consultation by calling (203) 753-7300 or sending us an email at From there, you’ll be in the hands of our English and Spanish-speaking immigration team.