Attorney General Mark Brnovich Asks Ninth Circuit to Stop DHS Immigration Policy

PHOENIX -- Attorney General Mark Brnovich is asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to grant an emergency injunction pending appeal, requiring the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to return to “normal removal operations” and follow existing federal immigration law and resume deportations.

"The Biden Administration is not only denying the border crisis but also the existence of federal laws,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “I will continue to petition the courts to restore order and public safety for all Arizonans and Americans."

Arizona and Montana are suing DHS, ICE, and federal officials over the February 18, 2021 Interim Guidance that halts nearly all deportations and ICE arrests. After the Interim Guidance was issued, deportations outside of the “priority categories” dropped by 98 percent in Arizona (only 7 out of 325 “other priority” cases were deported). Additionally, immigration-related arrests have dramatically decreased. ICE officers average just one interior arrest every 2.5 months.
The Interim Guidance is in direct violation of federal law for removals of aliens with final orders of removal.  8 U.S.C. § 1231(a)(1)(A), requires that ICE “shall” remove an alien, who has received a final deportation order, from the United States within 90 days unless another exception in § 1231 applies. Late last month, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in a separate case (Johnson v. Guzman Chavez) that “shall” means “must,” i.e. it is mandatory language.
Today’s filing comes as June numbers show the border crisis is only getting worse. More than 188,000 individuals were encountered along the southwest border in June 2021. DHS has not publicly released removal numbers for several weeks.
Copy of emergency motion here.