When former president Barack Obama was asked, in 2011, to stop the deportation of students with an executive order, he said he couldn’t do it: “There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”

But he did it anyway a year later when he established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, which granted temporary lawful status to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children.

Then in 2014, he replaced the statutory classes of deportable aliens in INA section 1227 with his own list of deportable alien classes, which severely restricted who could be deported. Immigration officers needed approval from an ICE Field Office Director to take enforcement action against an immigrant who was not in one of those categories.

Obama justified his action by claiming that he was doing what he thought should be done until the passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

The flaw in Obama’s position is that if Democratic presidents can disregard the law until the broken immigration system is fixed with their version of a comprehensive immigration reform bill, Republican presidents will be able to ignore the fixes. Republicans have a very different view of how to fix the immigration system.

Biden has gone even further than Obama did.

Biden’s DHS secretary, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, issued enforcement guidelines that replace the deportable alien grounds in INA section 1227 with priority categories that restrict deportation to immigrants who are a threat to our national security, to public safety, or to border security.

Mayorkas explained that the majority of undocumented immigrants who are subject to removal have been contributing members of our communities for years; therefore, the fact that an immigrant is removable should not alone be the basis for an enforcement action.

Biden also has cut more than 25 percent of the bed capacity at immigration detention facilities in his budget request for the next fiscal year. This would reduce funding for immigration enforcement beds from 34,000 to 25,000. CBP made 1.9 million arrests for illegal border crossings in the first year of the Biden presidency.

States experiencing the negative consequences of Biden’s immigration policies, have been trying to stop him — and they have had some successes. The most recent one occurred on March 22, when U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. Newman granted an application from Arizona, Montana, and Ohio (the states) for a preliminary injunction pending the outcome of a case that critically examines the public safety section of Biden’s enforcement guidelines.

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Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. Follow him at https://nolanrappaport.blogspot.com