The Heritage Foundation filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Wednesday, seeking who the Biden administration consulted in its decisions to limit immigration enforcement, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The lawsuit comes after a January Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Heritage Foundation seeking relevant information about any stakeholders involved in the decision and any communications they may have had with Secretary Mayorkas, according to the lawsuit. Heritage argued that DHS failed to comply with “statutory timelines” in providing the requested information.
“Unfortunately, Secretary Mayorkas has conspired with open-borders advocates within the Biden administration, as well as radical groups in the private sector, to open the border and severely limit ICE agents’ ability to do their job,” former Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tom Homan told the DCNF.
“He has effectively abolished ICE, and that’s why we just saw the lowest deportation number in ICE’s history, and more than 14,000 criminal illegal aliens released into our communities. This lawsuit will hopefully shine a light on how we got here, and who else is responsible,” Homan added.
Former acting DHS Secretary David Pekoske issued a memo on President Joe Biden’s first day of office ordering a 100-day moratorium on deportations, ordering a review of immigration enforcement policies after the commander-in-chief requested a revision. The memo set limits on civil immigration enforcement to national security, border security and public safety threats.
“Due to limited resources, DHS cannot respond to all immigration violations or remove all persons unlawfully in the United States,” the memo stated. “Rather, DHS must implement civil immigration enforcement based on sensible priorities and changing circumstances.”
Then-Acting ICE Director Tae Johnson issued a memo on Feb. 18 2021, which set the new priorities for civil immigration enforcement and deportations for all agency employees.
The states of Texas and Louisiana sued the Biden administration in April 2021 over ICE’s decrease in enforcement. In June, a federal judge overseeing the case forced the Biden administration to scrap the memo.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a memo on Sept. 30 “to better focus the Department’s resources on the apprehension and removal of noncitizens who are a threat to our national security, public safety, and border security and advance the interests of justice by ensuring a case-by-case assessment of whether an individual poses a threat.”
DHS did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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