Attorney General Brnovich Sues to Stop DHS Permanent Guidance

Attorney General Mark Brnovich is co-leading a lawsuit with the attorneys general from Ohio and Montana to stop the implementation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) dangerous ‘Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law’ (Permanent Guidance). The immigration policy halts nearly all deportations, even for those convicted of crimes, and drastically ties the hands of immigration officers.

“The Biden Administration continues to pursue its reckless open border policies, with a shocking disregard for the law and the safety of American families,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Its latest administrative guidance would essentially abolish ICE, even as escalating crime and atrocities are moving through our border and into communities across the country. Together with Ohio and Montana, Arizona has filed suit to challenge and reverse this deeply misguided policy that would further devastate our country.”

In their lawsuit, the coalition shows that the Permanent Guidance is in direct violation of federal law (8 U.S.C. § 1231), which requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to remove an alien who has received a final deportation order within 90 days. Under DHS’s nonenforcement policy, ICE will no longer categorically remove migrants with final removal orders within 90 days, if ever, even if they have dangerous convictions unless they are suspected of terrorism. There are more than 1 million individuals with final removal orders currently in the U.S.

The coalition also argues the Permanent Guidance doesn’t make sense because DHS failed to consider the serious problems the policy will cause. For example, the Permanent Guidance does not even consider the serious risk of recidivism among criminal migrants who are released into Arizona’s communities. Additionally, the Permanent Guidance does not take into account the costs to the states, which will have to spend precious taxpayer dollars on increased costs for law enforcement and social services.

Under the Permanent Guidance, ICE will no longer transfer most deportable migrants from local prisons to ICE custody when they are set to be released from jail, even though it is required by law (8 U.S.C. § 1226). Instead, migrants will be released into communities in Arizona and at the cost of taxpayers through community supervision. When DHS implemented a similar policy earlier this year, called the Interim Guidance, not only were immigration arrests and deportations slashed, but removable criminal migrants were also released from jails. Some of the convictions included arson, armed robbery, misconduct involving weapons, and aggravated DUI.

The coalition argues that the Biden administration’s Permanent Guidance will further incentivize illegal immigration and worsen the border crisis, including the crisis of dangerous fentanyl flowing across the border. More than 1.7 million migrants were encountered along the southwest border in fiscal year 2021, the highest total ever recorded. Sadly that trend is continuing. Just last month, U.S. Border Patrol encountered more than 164,000 migrants at the southwest border. Dangerous and deadly drugs are pouring into the country at rates never seen before, and they are making their way into communities across the country day by day.

The coalition is asking the U.S. District Court of Ohio to declare the Permanent Guidance illegal and to stop it from going into effect.

Copy of complaint here.

Additional AGO Actions
Today’s filing is General Brnovich’s fourth lawsuit he’s filed to stop the Biden administration’s reckless immigration policies. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted Arizona’s petition to defend the Public Charge Rule, which ensures that noncitizens are able to financially support themselves in order to become U.S. citizens or to obtain their green cards.

General Brnovich recently went on a border tour with Yuma Sheriff Leon Wilmott. Below you will find pictures and video of what’s occurring at our southern border as the Biden Administration sits back and does nothing.

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