Last month, Texas sued the Biden administration in federal court over its decision to pause most deportations for 100 days. Now Nevada Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford is joining a coalition of 16 attorneys general to ask the court to reject Texas’s request to halt the moratorium while the case moves through the courts.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued the moratorium violated a previous agreement the state made with the Department of Homeland Security in the final stages of the Trump administration under which the DHS would consult with the state and provide six months’ notice before taking any action on immigration policy or enforcement.
A federal judge granted Texas a 14-day pause on the administration’s moratorium in order to consider the lawsuit.
“An outgoing presidential administration — after losing a national election by millions of votes — cannot handcuff the decisions of a new administration when they’re trying to change national policies to reflect the will of the voters,” said Ford in a statement.
In the amicus brief, the coalition AGs argues the Texas agreement with the previous administration conflicts with federal law and also undermines the sovereignty of other states.
The coalition argues that the agreement, signed Dec. 31 by Abbott and Ken Cuccinelli, the previous acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security, is not valid because Cuccinelli unlawfully assumed his role in violation of two federal acts related to the succession of power: The Federal Vacancies Reform Act and the Homeland Security Act.
The Government Accountability Office issued a report that concluded the acting leaders of the DHS were not appointed through a valid process, notes the amicus brief, “and thus had no authority to act on behalf of DHS.”
In addition to Nevada, other states joining the filling include: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
Last year Paxton sued to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn election results in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.