Biden admin can limit immigration arrests, Supreme Court rules

The Supreme Court said Friday it will no longer stand in the way of a long-blocked Biden administration policy to prioritize the deportation of immigrants who are deemed to pose the greatest public safety risk or were picked up at the border.

The justices rejected a challenge from Republican-led states to a policy that, the administration said, recognizes that there is not enough money or manpower to deport all 11 million or so people who are in the United States illegally.


Guatemalan immigrants deported from the United States arrive on a ICE deportation flight on February 9, 2017 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The states had argued that federal immigration law requires authorities to detain and deport even those who pose little or no risk.

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At the center of the case is a September 2021 directive from the Department of Homeland Security that paused deportations unless individuals had committed acts of terrorism, espionage or "egregious threats to public safety." The guidance, issued after Joe Biden became president, updated a Trump-era policy to remove people in the country illegally regardless of criminal history or community ties.