Texas AG Ken Paxton. Video screenshot.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton may not have been able to throw out other states' votes so Donald Trump could stay president, but he has at least succeeded in convincing a Trump-appointed federal judge to put a hold on one of Biden's first-day executive orders. Biden had ordered a 100-day moratorium on most deportations while the new administration reviews immigration policies across the Department of Homeland Security, including at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, as in "abolish") and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Federal Judge Drew Tipton issued a restraining order Tuesday, blocking Biden from freezing deportations for 14 days while the case is tried. That led Paxton to exult on Twitter that he had utterly defeated Biden's "seditious left-wing insurrection."

GET IT? The real sedition wasn't those nice people who attacked the US Capitol to stop the certification of the vote, and it certainly wasn't the Big Lie that motivated them. The real sedition was the people we didn't deport along the way. Ken Paxton is very big on Rule of Law, you see.


Paxton had argued that Biden's placing a temporary freeze on deportations was somehow unconstitutional, and according to Vox, that it violated an agreement Texas had made with DHS, as Trump was about to leave office, requiring DHS to consult with Texas before changing certain policies and to give 180 days notice of such a change. The Texas Tribune notes Paxton had argued the state

would face irreparable harm if undocumented immigrants were released into the state because of costs associated with health care and education, among other claims.

Tipton, a Trump appointee, found that claim compelling enough to grant the restraining order, ordering a freeze on any freeze, so deportations of non-citizens will go forward for at least two more weeks. Tipton said the Biden administration didn't adequately explain why it needed a pause in deportations to be put in place while it reconsidered policies, and that a 100-day pause might violate immigration law, which requires deportation within 90 days.

As for that last-minute agreement between Texas and DHS, Tipton didn't touch it in his order, saying that needs to be determined in court. Instead he cited the Administrative Procedure Act in granting the temporary injunction.

Vox adds that

Legal experts say it is likely illegal and that an outgoing administration should not be able to enter into a contract with a political ally to obstruct the policy goals of the incoming administration.

This is probably just the start of what's likely to be a long fight over Trump's efforts to stymie attempts by Biden to undo Trump's immigration cruelty; Buzzfeed News reported earlier this month that former DHS number two Ken Cuccinelli signed similar agreements with several other states — Arizona, Indiana, and Louisiana, along with, weirdly, one county sheriff's office in North Carolina. Those agreements are clearly aimed at locking in Trump policies past the end of his administration, and require DHS to give states six months to think over any certain policy changes and offer comments. One such agreement said that DHS would

"prioritize the protection of the United States" by enforcing immigration laws in a way that prioritizes detention and results in arrests of "removable aliens."

Silly Joe Biden thinks he can set immigration policy? No way: DHS signed a contract saying he can't! Again, Yr Dok Zoom is not a lawyer, but nonetheless thinks that sounds pretty shady. And so do the experts cited in the Buzzfeed News piece:

Naureen Shah, senior advocacy and policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the agreements "a transparent attempt by Trump officials to tie the Biden-Harris administration's hands and preserve Trump's grotesque immigration enforcement policy.

"The Biden administration has the authority, mandate, and responsibility to break from the Trump administration's legacy, and nothing about these reported agreements changes that reality," Shah added.

Vox adds that, seeing as how the Government Accountability Office already found that Cuccinelli was not legally appointed to his post, it's entirely possible the agreements will just vanish in a puff of law once they're tested in court. That already happened last year, when a judge vacated policies Cuccinelli had pursued at DHS.

Such great respecters of The Law, all of these fuckers are. The Biden administration argues that DHS had no legal authority to "contract away" authority over immigration policy to states, for cryin' out loud, what a load of malarkey.

"The Department of Homeland Security lacked authority to cede control over federal immigration policy to Texas, and Texas has no power to demand specific performance of that contract in the form of a nationwide temporary restraining order," DHS argued in a court filing. "Texas's eleventh-hour effort to control and impede the new Administration's immigration policies should be rejected."

Also, Ken Paxton is still under investigation for corruption. But as long as he promises to stay super tough on undocumented immigrants, he'll probably continue to keep Texas racists happy, the end.

[Texas Tribune / Vox / Buzzfeed News / Order in Texas v. United States]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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