Arizona Sues Over Biden Plan To Pause Deportations

By Matthew Casey
Published: Thursday, February 4, 2021 - 8:02am

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The most recent federal data show that field offices in San Antonio and Phoenix ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively for deporting the most people in a year.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office, just like its Texas counterpart, is now suing the Biden administration over an order to pause deportations.

The federal judge overseeing the Texas case has put a temporary block on Biden’s policy. But Attorney General Mark Brnovich worries it could expire. He sent a letter to Homeland Security last week asking that officials honor a deal signed near the end of the Trump administration. The agreement reportedly says the Department would talk with Arizona’s top law enforcement agency before pausing deportations.  

Mark Brnovich
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Mark Brnovich

“And they basically told us to pound sand. And so we didn’t want to file a lawsuit. But we felt this was important to do so to protect Arizonans,” Brnovich said.

Homeland Security’s reply dated Tuesday said the Department was canceling the deal with Arizona made under Trump.

But Biden’s plan also runs afoul of federal law that requires a person who gets a deportation order to be sent home within 90 days, Brnovich said. 

“It’s simple as this: we want them to follow existing law. And we want them to communicate with us. I don’t think that’s too much to ask,” he said.

Federal officials declined to comment on Arizona’s pending lawsuit.


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