In a recent decision, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the obstacles for the Biden administration to instruct federal authorities on how to prioritize deportations. We wrote about this case in December, around the time the sides argued their cases to the court.
To give some background, two states sued the U.S. government shortly after the president issued a memorandum which told immigration officials how to allocate their limited resources.
Specifically, the administration directed officials to focus on deporting people who posed threats to national security or to the public safety.
To give an example, someone who is involved in organized crime or in terrorist activity will remain a target for deportation proceedings.
However, simply being in the country without authorization is not alone grounds to detain and deport someone under the current guidance. This was marked change from previous policy.
After the administration issued these new guidelines, two states sued the federal government, claiming that the enforcement policy ran afoul of federal laws. The court did not decide this question.
Instead, the court determined that the states had no legal right to complain in federal court about the administration’s decision not to arrest and deport certain immigrants.
What might this ruling mean for my family and me?
In the short term, the good news is that undocumented immigrants in the Detroit area and throughout the country might be able to breathe a little easier these days.
The court has upheld the president’s decision not to have federal immigration authorities strictly enforce the laws against people who are undocumented but pose little or no safety or security threat. The president has instead chosen other priorities.
However, each president has a lot of authority to decide how they want to handle immigration. The court’s decision only serves to reinforce this principle.
As lawmakers and presidents change, it is important for non-citizens and their loved ones to keep current with how authorities are choosing to enforce the law.
In fact, this case could embolden both the current president and future presidents to set out ambitious immigration policies or to scale back the rules of their predecessors.