In Biden v. Texas Amicus Brief, CILP Asks Supreme Court to Limit National Injunctions

‘Texas and Missouri alone should not be allowed to set federal immigration policy.’ 

Los Angeles, CA -– The Center for Immigration Law and Policy at the UCLA School of Law today filed an amicus brief in Biden v. Texas arguing that injunctions obtained by individual states should rarely be applied nationwide, and instead should generally be limited to the territory of the states that filed suit. Citing opinions from Justices Thomas and Gorsuch, and leading academics in the field, CILP’s brief asks that the Supreme Court use this opportunity to impose some much-needed restraint on this practice. 

“In the last decade, suits brought by individual States on both sides of the immigration debate have played too large a role in dictating federal immigration policy,” said Ahilan Arulanantham, CILP Faculty Co-Director. “In President Biden’s first year alone, the state of Texas has won nationwide injunctions against the Administration’s moratorium on deportations, its enforcement priorities, their attempt to stop the expulsion of children under Title 42 and in Biden v. Texas, the termination of the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocol Program. We agree with Justice Gorsuch that ‘this is not normal.’ Regardless of whether the Court rules for Texas or instead the Biden Administration, our brief has presented a strong case for why the Court should impose limits on the use of nationwide injunctions in this case and others.”

As Justice Thomas noted, nationwide injunctions have “exploded in popularity” among the lower courts. In Texas v. Biden, a district court permitted Texas and Missouri to set immigration policy along the entire Southern border, ruling that the Biden Administration had to resume MPP in other states—including California, Arizona, and New Mexico—based on the speculative possibility that asylum seekers coming into those states would some day move to Texas or Missouri and get driver’s licenses or other public benefits.

“Injunctions must always be limited and proportionate to the harms alleged,” said Monika Y. Langarica, CILP Staff Attorney. “In Biden v. Texas, the district courts have lost sight of the ancient guardrails that once constrained nationwide injunctions, effectively empowering two states—one of which lacks an international border—to set immigration policy for the entire United States. We hope the Supreme Court rules that any further injunctions issued in this case should be limited to those individuals who were apprehended or presented themselves at ports of entry in Texas.”

Founded in 2020, the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law expands the law school’s role as a national leader in immigration law and policy. The Center generates innovative ideas at the intersection of immigration scholarship and practice; serves as a hub for transforming those ideas into meaningful changes in immigration policy at the local, state, and national level; and empowers students with unique opportunities for experiential learning through work with academics, practitioners, policymakers, and activists. In addition to engaging in strategic litigation, the Center will publish briefings and reports on immigration policy, host conferences and symposia featuring leading national scholars, and launch immigration law training opportunities for judges and legislators.

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