Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is enjoying a victory against a Biden administration policy that has allowed illegal aliens to cross the southern border without consequence.

In 2021, President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security issued a rule giving immigration law enforcement officials the power to decide whether or not to detain illegal aliens who attempt to cross the border (in contradiction to federal law, which says they must all be detained).

This policy caught the attention of Texas Attorney General Paxton and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, who sued to stop the rule change, arguing that Biden was violating federal law when refusing to take custody of criminal migrants.

Paxton bashed President Biden, arguing that the policy was contrary to federal law and was instituted without following the proper procedure. Over a year since the original lawsuit was filed, a federal judge issued a ruling against the Biden administration on Friday.

Federal District Judge Drew Tipton said in his decision that the rule was “an implausible construction of federal law that flies in the face of the limitations imposed by Congress.” Tipton added, “Whatever the outer limits of the authority, the executive branch does not have the authority to change the law.”

After a legal fight lasting almost a year, Texas judges ruled a final judgment banning Biden’s detention-discretion rule.

The opinion continues:

Using the words ‘discretion’ and ‘prioritization’, the executive branch claims the authority to suspend statutory mandates. The law does not sanction this approach. Accepting the executive branch’s position would have profound consequences for the separation of powers.

Paxton celebrated the ruling as a victory for the sake of the Constitution and well-being of national security.

“This ruling is just another step in restoring order to our southern border,” said Paxton. “I continue to be baffled at the blatant disregard for the law that the Biden administration has repeatedly shown. It is beyond logic as to why they would want to break the law and threaten the safety of fellow Americans. If President Biden thinks the state of Texas isn’t ready to fight him and his disastrous border policies on every front, he’s dead wrong. I’ll just keep suing him in court—and winning.”

The Biden administration has indicated they will appeal the ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Illegal immigration along the southern border has surged since President Joe Biden took office in 2021. While the state of Texas has taken certain measured steps to confront the issue, illegal border-crossers being released into the U.S. rather than deported remains the largest issue.

This has led some, like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, to call on Texas to deport illegal aliens without the permission of the federal government. Paxton has said he would defend this policy in court should the governor or state Legislature enact the policy.

So far, Gov. Abbott has declined to take that action.

Jake Peterson

Jake Peterson is a journalism fellow for Texas Scorecard. During high school he competed in speech and debate and now works to teach the unbiased truth, and expose corruption.