Texas and Louisiana had brought the lawsuit challenging the guidance earlier this year. Judge Drew Tipton of the Southern District of Texas found that the states demonstrated a “substantial likelihood that the policy concerning detention of certain aliens set forth in the Memoranda is arbitrary and capricious under the [the Administrative Procedure Act] and the Memoranda fail to comply with the APA’s notice and comment requirement.”
It’s the latest legal blow for the Biden administration’s immigration policies, which have faced a series of lawsuits brought by Texas. Last week, a different federal judge ordered the administration to revive a Trump-era border policy that required migrants to stay in Mexico until their US immigration court dates. The Justice Department appealed the ruling.
Tipton, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, has previously ruled against the Biden administration. Earlier this year, he blocked the pause on deportations set in motion shortly after President Joe Biden took office.
The January 20 interim ICE guidance curtailed enforcement measures, focusing more narrowly on immigrants who pose a national security, border security or public safety risk.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has previously said that he’s working with ICE on new enforcement guidelines, though they’ve not been released yet.