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AG Derek Schmidt: Biden administration deportation moratorium is unlawful

Release Date: Sep 01, 2021

TOPEKA – (September 1, 2021) – The Biden administration’s decision to institute a 100-day moratorium on deportations violates federal law and should be struck down, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt told a federal appeals court.

Schmidt yesterday joined 15 other state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in the case of Texas and Louisiana v. United States of America opposing the administration’s request to stay a lower court decision that blocked the deportation moratorium. A ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas found that the Biden administration’s changes to immigration enforcement policy also were arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedures Act.

“The Biden administration’s brazen defiance of legal requirements underscores the need for this court to act swiftly and forcefully to break the Administration’s escalating pattern of disrespect for the rule of law,” the attorneys general wrote to the court.

Yesterday’s filing is the latest in an ongoing legal fight between the states and the Biden administration over changes made to immigration policy without consultation with the states as required by prior agreement. In another case in which Kansas was involved, a federal district court judge in Texas recently ruled against the Biden administration when it attempted to reverse the Trump administration’s policy, referred to as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, requiring asylum seekers from third countries to remain in Mexico pending formal asylum proceedings. The district court’s ruling reinstated the Trump-era policy. The Biden administration is appealing that decision. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the administration’s request to stay the decision.

A copy of the brief filed in case of Texas and Louisiana v. United States of America in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit can be found at

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.