WASHINGTON—A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s 100-day pause on deportations, saying it likely violated the executive branch’s legal obligations for immigration enforcement.
U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton of the Southern District of Texas granted the request for a two-week temporary restraining order after the Texas attorney general sued the new administration last Friday to ensure deportations would continue to be carried out. Judge Tipton said his order applied on a nationwide basis.
The court order was the first legal setback to President Biden’s immigration agenda, which already is coming under attack from Republicans, much as former President Donald Trump’s policies were challenged by Democratic officials.
The Biden administration on its first day announced the 100-day deportation moratorium, which was pushed by immigration activists and Mr. Biden’s rival in the Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.). The Department of Homeland Security began enforcing the pause Friday.
Judge Tipton, who was appointed by Mr. Trump in 2020, issued the order after concluding that Texas was likely to prevail on some of its legal claims. The judge said he would soon consider whether to issue a preliminary injunction that would block the new policy for a longer period.