Arizona, Montana and Ohio won a preliminary injunction on Tuesday enjoining a Biden administration immigration policy that narrows the Department of Homeland Security's deportation focus to immigrants deemed to be dangerous, Courthouse News Service reports. While its temporary guidelines were being litigated, DHS issued permanent guidance for prioritized removal in September 2021. It was this rule that prompted the lawsuit by the three states that was assigned to U.S. District Judge Michael Newman in Dayton, a President Trump appointee. The rule instructs immigration officials to conduct extensive analysis of an illegal immigrant's criminal history, mental and physical health, length of time in the U.S., and various other factors before making a removal determination.
The states claimed this type of discretionary "balancing test" exceeded the scope of authority granted to DHS and causes extensive harm by allowing more dangerous illegal immigrants within their borders. Newman sided with the states Tuesday, citing evidence of increased costs for Arizona that stemmed from a decrease in removal rates that required the state to either maintain custody of the immigrants or monitor them on their release from prison. "The states have shown that their criminal justice expenditures increase when DHS's detention and removal of noncitizens decrease," Newman said. Newman decided to grant the states' request for a nationwide injunction, emphasizing that immigration law "demands uniform application across the country."