Photos: Migrants Refuse to Leave NYC Hotel, Demand Taxpayers Give Them ‘Permanent Homes’

Photos: Migrants Refuse to Leave NYC Hotel, Demand Taxpayers Give Them ‘Permanent Homes’

Border crossers, who arrived in New York City on buses from Texas, are refusing to leave a luxury Manhattan hotel that city officials had placed them in.

Over the weekend, city officials sought to move migrants out of the Watson Hotel in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan and to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal where Mayor Eric Adams has constructed a massive shelter for new arrivals.

Many of the border crossers staying at the Watson Hotel, paid for by taxpayers, are refusing to leave and have instead set up a homeless encampment outside the hotel. There, they are demanding the city “cancel rent” and provide them with “permanent homes.”

Some open borders activists, assisting the migrants, even suggested to ABC 7 News that new arrivals get placed in some of the city’s most expensive properties without charge.

Another sign posted by border crossers outside the Watson Hotel reads “no to discrimination towards immigrants” while one other reads “We need housing to sleep, we need help please.”

The housing demands come as New Yorkers, particularly working and middle class, grapple with exorbitant rents and skyrocketing home prices that have pushed many out of the city’s five boroughs and hundreds of thousands out of the state altogether.

Nearly 50,000 border crossers have been bused to New York City, a sanctuary jurisdiction, since the spring of last year. Those new arrivals will immediately begin competing for limited housing across the city, pushing the price of rent and homes way up for natives.

Real estate investors are some of the biggest beneficiaries of mass immigration to the United States. Immigration-driven population growth, set to bring the United States population to more than 400 million by 2060, is likely to send housing prices even higher.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Housing Economics found that “increases in immigration into a metropolitan statistical area are linked with rising rents and home prices in that metropolitan statistical area and neighboring metropolitan statistical areas.”

Republicans in Congress representing New Yorkers — including Rep. Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney, Nick Langworthy, Marc Molinaro, Nicole Malliotakis, Andrew Garbarino, Anthony D’Esposito, and Nick LaLota — have been largely silent about the connection between mass immigration and housing costs.

A view from the surroundings of Watson Hotel in Manhattan, New York, United States on January 29, 2023. (Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A view from the surroundings of Watson Hotel in Manhattan, New York, United States on January 29, 2023. (Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A view from the surroundings of Watson Hotel in Manhattan, New York, United States on January 29, 2023. (Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A view from the surroundings of Watson Hotel in Manhattan, New York, United States on January 29, 2023. (Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Migrants camp out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted on January 30, 2023 in New York City. (Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress via Getty Images)

Migrants camp out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted on January 30, 2023 in New York City. (Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress via Getty Images)

Migrants camp out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted on January 30, 2023 in New York City. (Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress via Getty Images)

Migrants camp out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted on January 30, 2023 in New York City. (Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress via Getty Images)

Migrants camp out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted on January 30, 2023 in New York City. (Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress via Getty Images)

Migrants camp out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted on January 30, 2023 in New York City. (Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress via Getty Images)

A sign is seen as migrants camp out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted on January 30, 2023 in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

A view from the surroundings of Watson Hotel in Manhattan, New York, United States on January 29, 2023. (Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Migrants camp out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted on January 30, 2023 in New York City. (Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress via Getty Images)

Migrants camp out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted on January 30, 2023 in New York City. (Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress via Getty Images)

Migrants camp out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted on January 30, 2023 in New York City. (Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress via Getty Images)

Migrants camp out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted on January 30, 2023 in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Camping tents are pictured outside the Watson Hotel on 57th Street and 9th Avenue. (Luiz C. Ribeiro/for New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here

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SICK: Bearded Drag Queen Toasts To “Those Who L*ck Us Where We Pee” In Front Of Young Children At Texas Drag Show

Gateway Pundit | By Cullen Linebarger Published January 29, 2023 at 5:16pm

Many conservatives look at small towns as an essential refuge from a decaying American society. A rancid drag queen event with small children in attendance in a small Texas city, however, should disabuse them of this naïve notion.

Blaze TV host Sara Gonzales attended a drag bingo event on Saturday in the city of Princeton, Texas inside a community center that was formerly First United Methodist Church. She was later removed from the premises.

Fortunately for Gonzalez, the organizers streamed the entire event on Facebook. Gonzalez posted a video clip on Twitter from the event that begins with a bearded drag queen making the following remarks:

Now, I’m going to do a quick little cheers that I normally do. I mean, I know there’s little babies here. But close your ears (laughs).

TRENDING: TGP Exclusive: Service Member Karolina Stancik Speaks Out About Her Horrific Injuries, Heart Attacks, Stroke from COVID Vaccine – PLEASE DONATE BELOW

This is just a tradition all (drag) shows normally do. So raise your glasses. Cheers to you, cheers to me, cheers to the ones who lick us where we pee.

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What Did Election Integrity Laws Achieve In 2022? New Report Details What Worked And What Didn’t

What Did Election Integrity Laws Achieve In 2022? New Report Details What Worked And What Didn’t

In the interim between the major 2022 and 2024 election cycles, Republican lawmakers are focusing on how they can strengthen election laws to ensure key federal and state races are conducted securely and fairly. A new report released by the House Election Integrity Caucus highlights the successful election integrity reforms made this past cycle and makes future recommendations for policymakers.

“A look at what went right and what went wrong in election administration is the first step to securing our elections and restoring voter confidence,” Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., told The Federalist. “The Election Integrity Caucus’ 2022 Midterm Review is a look at the positive efforts of states like Georgia, Texas, and Florida, which are working to implement policies that promote fair, free, and transparent elections. It is also a look at what went wrong in states like New York and California, which implemented policies that encouraged chaos at the ballot box and undermined voter confidence.”

Tenney launched the House Election Integrity Caucus in 2021 to restore “faith in the democratic process,” especially as Democrats tried to diminish and destroy safeguards for administering elections through bills such as HR 1, which sought to federalize American elections, or the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which would overturn voter ID requirements.

The report documents several election integrity laws recently passed by Georgia, Texas, and Florida that strengthened the security of each state’s election process. Georgia’s SB 202 strengthened voter ID requirements and banned the private funding of elections. Despite Democrats’ characterization of the bill — which also expanded early voting — as “Jim Crow 2.0” and other slurs, the report notes that Georgia experienced “historic early turnout that rivaled presidential cycles,” especially among minority voters.

“The Lone Star State gets five stars for election administration!” the report declares, noting that Texas’ SB 1 gave poll watchers more access to “salient aspects of the elections process,” in addition to legalizing ballot curing.

The report also highlights Florida’s SB 90, which strengthened voter ID requirements, barred unsolicited mail-in balloting, and prohibited “ballot harvesting by political operatives.”

“Between Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, Florida organized and executed a safe and secure midterm election,” the report reads. “Preliminary numbers have Florida turnout of over 7.5M or 49.3% of their voting-eligible population.”

Next the report details problematic election-related legislation passed by both New York and California. New York’s SB 1046 is a state version of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, requiring “covered jurisdictions” to “preclear” any changes to election-related laws or policies that could potentially have a disparate impact on racial minorities. In California, automatic mail-in voting was established via AB 37, making California a permanent mail-in ballot state.

The report ends with several recommendations for policymakers on the national and state level, including strengthening photo ID requirements, maintaining accurate state voter rolls, ensuring Election Day does not become “Election Month,” and passing the American Confidence in Elections Act, “a comprehensive legislative package that would provide states with tools to boost election integrity, prohibit non-citizens from voting, ban Zuckerbucks, and end Biden’s Executive Order 14019 turning federal agencies into partisan get-out-the-vote operations.”

While the work of the House Election Integrity Caucus has just begun, Tenney told The Federalist she “applaud[s] the work of the legislatures, chief election officers, and executives who [before the 2022 cycle] got it right by prioritizing election integrity — guaranteeing our elections are secure by making it harder to cheat and more accessible by making it easier to vote.”


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

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California Would Disbar Ted Cruz And 18 Attorneys General If It Could

California Would Disbar Ted Cruz And 18 Attorneys General If It Could

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and the attorneys general from 17 additional states should all be disbarred, according to the reasoning of the disciplinary complaint the State Bar of California filed Thursday against former Trump campaign attorney John Eastman. That detail is one of many buried in the 35-page, 11-count disciplinary complaint made public yesterday in the latest lawfare attack on attorneys who deigned to represent Donald Trump. 

State Bar of California’s Chief Trial Counsel George Cardona announced on Thursday the filing of disciplinary charges against Eastman, allegedly arising from Eastman’s engagement “in a course of conduct to plan, promote, and assist then-President Trump in executing a strategy, unsupported by facts or law, to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election by obstructing the count of electoral votes of certain states.” The press release announcing the disciplinary charges further claimed that Eastman “made false and misleading statements regarding purported election fraud,” that provoked a crowd into assaulting and breaching the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The 11 charges against Eastman prove troubling throughout, with the State Bar of California proposing to discipline Eastman for presenting legal analyses to his client, Trump, and for speaking publicly on his views about the election, with the bar even attempting to hold Eastman responsible any violence that occurred on Jan. 6. The disciplinary complaint also misrepresents numerous arguments Eastman and others made concerning the 2020 election, falsely equating claims of violations of election law with fraud.

But it is count two of the disciplinary complaint, charging Eastman with “seeking to mislead a court,” that exposes the California State Bar as a kangaroo court.

“On or about December 7, 2020, the State of Texas filed a Motion for Leave to File Bill of Complaint in the United States Supreme Court, initiating the lawsuit Texas v. Pennsylvania,” begins count two of the complaint against Eastman. The complaint then explains that in that lawsuit, Texas argued the defendant states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin “usurp[ed] their legislatures’ authority and unconstitutionally revised their States’ election statutes.” As a remedy, Texas sought an order from the Supreme Court to “enjoin the use of unlawful election results without review and ratification by the Defendant States’ legislatures and remand to the Defendant States’ respective legislatures to appoint Presidential Electors in a manner consistent with the Electors Clause.”

Eastman, on behalf of then-President Trump, sought to intervene in the Texas v. Pennsylvania case, and in that motion, Eastman “expressly adopted the allegations contained in the Motion for Leave to File Bill of Complaint filed by Texas.” In adopting the allegations Texas made, Eastman, according to the California State Bar, “misl[ed] the Supreme Court by an artifice or false statement of fact or law,” in violation of California’s “Business and Professions Code” that governs attorneys’ conduct in the Golden State.

Under the California State Bar’s reasoning, then, Texas’ attorney general who filed the motion likewise “misled” the U.S. Supreme Court, as did the attorneys general of the 17 other states that supported Texas’ motion for leave to file a bill of complaint. So too would have Sen. Ted Cruz, had the Supreme Court agreed to hear the motion, as he had agreed to argue the case on Trump’s behalf in that circumstance. 

While count two represents but one of the 11 distinct charges levied against Eastman, it most clearly exposes the logical conclusion reached when state bars use disciplinary proceedings to conduct lawfare against political opponents. 

To date, the bars have limited themselves to targeting just a few attorneys working for Trump, with the D.C. Bar pursuing Rudy Giuliani and Jeff Clark, in addition to the California State Bar’s attack on Eastman. But there is no limiting principle to prevent the bars in other states from pursuing any politician with a law license who happens to represent the wrong person. 

That is an extremely dangerous precedent, which is why tomorrow at a press conference called by Eastman’s legal team, some big legal names will condemn the move. The hastily called conference is expected to bring together former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III and John Yoo, a current professor of law at the University of California-Berkley, former general counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and former deputy assistant attorney general. Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman and former California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, among others, are also expected at the conference.

Whether the legacy media will cover Eastman’s detailed response to the State Bar of California’s disciplinary complaint or bother to report on his press conference remains to be seen. But if Cruz and the attorneys general impugned by the California State Bar speak out, the corrupt press may not have any choice but to report on the ridiculous theories underlying the disciplinary attacks on Eastman.


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

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Migrants, Bused to NYC, Arrested for Allegedly Stealing $12.5K from Macy’s

Four border crossers, bused from Texas to New York City, were arrested this month after allegedly stealing nearly $12,500 worth of merchandise from a Macy’s department store.

On Monday, the Nassau County Police Department in Long Island, New York announced the arrests of 19-year-old Wrallan Cabezas Meza, 30-year-old Jose Garcia Escobar, 21-year-old Miguel Angel Rojas, and 27-year-old Rafael Rojas for allegedly shoplifting at Macy’s.

All of the men are newly arrived border crossers who were bused from Texas to New York City as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) plan to send migrant buses to sanctuary jurisdictions.

In total, nearly $12,500 worth of merchandise was recovered from the four border crossers. Escobar and Rafael Rojas were subsequently released from jail without bail. It is unclear if Meza and Angel Rojas remain in jail on bail.

According to the New York Post, Meza crossed the United States-Mexico border on July 4, 2022 while the others arrived at the border months later in September. All were put on buses by the state of Texas and relocated to New York City.

Angel Rojas and Rafael Rojas, the Post reports, have been living rent-free at the Westin Hotel in Manhattan. A whistleblower recently called out Mayor Eric Adams’ (D) plan that gives lucrative city contracts to a number of hotels willing to house migrants arriving on buses.

According to the whistleblower, border crossers are fighting hotel staff, drinking all day, and having sex in public, among other things.

Last week, Adams pleaded with President Joe Biden to create a federal program that would “fairly distribute” illegal immigration across the U.S. so as to relieve New York City of the burden of accepting tens of thousands of border crossers that have arrived since last spring.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here.

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Exclusive — Special Interests Intervene in South Dakota in Attempt to Slow Noem’s Proposal Restricting Chinese Land Purchases

A coalition of special interests and industry representatives has emerged to try to stop South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem from passing a measure that would restrict the ability of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) or other foreign entities to purchase land in her state, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.

Noem’s proposal, introduced last month ahead of this year’s legislative session, would create a state-level version of the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Titled CFIUS-South Dakota, Noem’s vision is to create a board that can review and then block any foreign entity’s proposal to purchase land in South Dakota. The measure has support in both the state House and the state Senate, and is likely to be considered this legislative session, which has a short window between now and the beginning of March, when the South Dakota legislature has its regular session.

As the measure has gained support, given the wide-scale popularity of any push to block China from buying American farmland, her idea has taken off nationwide as other governors in other states consider similar measures. Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, for instance, has said he would sign a similar idea into law after a lawmaker in the statehouse introduced a proposal to that effect. Former President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has as part of his early 2024 presidential campaign policy videos rolled out a federal proposal to block China from buying American farmland.

But in South Dakota, special interest groups are racing to slow Noem’s rollout in South Dakota, with a consortium of special interests expressing concerns with her proposed legislation. An email sent by Brenda Forman of the South Dakota Association of Cooperatives to Noem’s legal team in mid-January, obtained by Breitbart News, notes that “agricultural groups” have reviewed an updated version of Noem’s bill and “are deeply concerned about the legality and constitutionality of the proposal.”

“We remain interested in identifying what is not working with our current law,” Forman adds, without providing any specifics about any legal or constitutional concerns these groups her organization represents have.

Forman has not replied to a request for comment for details on any specific concerns, and has also not answered if any of the organizations her umbrella group is representing have any pending or possible looming sales of land to Chinese or other foreign interests.

But the email ends with a list of the groups Forman says are concerned about the Noem proposal,  including SD Farm Bureau, SD Farmer Union, SD AgriBusiness Association, SD Cattlemen’s Association, SD Corn Grower Association, SD Dairy Producers, SD Pork Producers, SD Soybean Association, SD Stockgrowers Association, SD Wheat Growers Association, and the SD Association of Conservation Districts, in addition to her SD Association of Cooperatives.

What all of this signals is an uncertain future for this proposal from Noem in the legislature as this session proceeds—these special interests have enormous sway over lawmakers in a state like South Dakota—and possibly an uncertain legal future if the proposal does make it into law. Even so, Noem’s novel effort—which as noted is an idea that is gaining traction nationally—is sure to catch on as quickly as did a previous anti-China push to ban the use of TikTok on state devices that she led. Noem was first out of the gate on that, and it caught fire nationally with dozens of governors engaging in similar efforts and even the U.S. Congress late last year adopting a proposal from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) to do it at the federal level.

“With this new process, we will be able to prevent nations who hate us – like Communist China – from buying up our state’s agriculture land,” Noem said in her release on Dec. 13 announcing the legislation creating CFIUS-SD. “We cannot allow the Chinese Communist Party to continue to buy up our nation’s food supply, so South Dakota will lead the charge on this vital national security issue.”

The governor’s press release announcing the plan describes how it would be implemented:

The CFIUS-SD board would be made up of three ex officio members: the Governor’s General Counsel (who would serve as board chair), the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the Director of the South Dakota Office of Homeland Security (part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety). The board would also include two governor’s appointees: an agricultural industry expert who owns at least 160 acres of agricultural land in SD, and a national and/or state security or foreign policy expert.

The proposal is offered by state Rep. Gary Cammack (R-SD) in the South Dakota House and by state Sen. Erin Tobin (R-SD) in the South Dakota Senate.

Cammack, in the release from December announcing the plan, noted the national security significance of it.

“With vital national security resources like Ellsworth Air Force Base, we cannot afford for our enemies to purchase land in South Dakota,” Cammack said. “We want to keep this land in the hands of South Dakota agriculture producers. I look forward to working with Governor Noem and my colleagues to guarantee the continued security of our state and nation.”

Ellsworth Air Force Base, located just outside Rapid City, South Dakota, is particularly critical to U.S. national security interests given that it is going to be home to the implementation of several projects supporting the new cutting-edge B-21 Stealth Bomber. Last spring, for instance, the Associated Press reported on how the Air Force broke ground on a new 95,000-square-foot facility at the base that will, according to Gen. Anthony Cotton–the Air Force’s Global Strike Commander–host “specialized equipment to ensure that the free world’s next generation stealth bomber is sustained and maintained.”

“We are the only ally in the free world that has bombers,” Gen. Cotton said at a groundbreaking ceremony at the Ellsworth Air Force Base facility in South Dakota last May.

Artist rendering of a B-21 Raider in a hangar is seen with the background being Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, one of the future bases to host the new airframe. (U.S. Air Force graphic)

Artist rendering of a B-21 Raider in a hangar is seen with the background being Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, one of the future bases to host the new airframe. (U.S. Air Force graphic)

Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD), the U.S. Congressman from South Dakota, also noted at the facility’s groundbreaking the importance of this project as a deterrence for Chinese and Russian aggression.

“China and Russia have the capacity to strike us almost anywhere in the world, almost any time they want,” Johnson said. “It is important that we have deterrence. It’s important that we have platforms like the B-21 that can project American force across the globe at a moment’s notice.”

So one can imagine why Chinese interests may want to buy land in South Dakota–to get access to, or at least areas close to, this facility. Whether Noem can outmaneuver the special interest groups in her state to prevent that from happening could be a matter of major national security significance for the future of the country and its military programs.

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Report: At Least 34 Babies Born Alive in Botched Abortions Between 2020-2022

Report: At Least 34 Babies Born Alive in Botched Abortions Between 2020-2022

Abortion data from seven states in the U.S. show that at least 34 babies were born alive in botched abortions between 2020 and 2022, Life News reported on Thursday.

The pro-life outlet looked at data from Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Michigan, though it noted that “most states do not keep track of the number of babies who survive abortions…”

“[A]nd the few that do provide little information about whether the babies received care, survived or were abandoned to die,” according to the report.

Arizona Department of Health Services data show that nine babies were born alive during abortions in 2020, which is the latest data available, the report states.

Eight babies were reported born alive in Florida this year, four in 2021, and seven in 2020, reports from the state Agency for Health Care Administration show.

Five babies were reported born alive in 2021 in Minnesota, and one was reported born alive in Texas the same year, according to reports from the Texas Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Health.

“None were reported in Arkansas, Oklahoma or Michigan in 2020 or 2021. However, there were two unknown cases mentioned in the 2020 Michigan abortion report, meaning the abortion staffer did not report to the state whether or not the two babies were born alive,” the report alleges. 

Life News noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “provide[s] evidence that babies survive abortions,” showing that at least 143 babies were born alive after botched abortions between 2013 and 2014 in the United States.

Between 2016 and 2018, just three states reported that 40 babies were born alive after botched abortions. According to the report:

According to the state health data, 11 babies were born alive in Minnesota, 10 in Arizona and 19 in Florida. Texas reported six babies were born alive in botched abortions in 2019. In Michigan, state health reports from 2008 through 2013 indicate that 11 babies were born alive after abortions,

For years, Congressional Republicans have been trying to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require “the same basic medical care be provided to babies who survive abortions as would be provided to any other baby born at the same gestational age,” the report states. However, Democrats have blocked the bill more than 80 times

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Biden Admin Tells Supreme Court Judges Cannot Strike Down Agency Decisions in Immigration Case

Biden Admin Tells Supreme Court Judges Cannot Strike Down Agency Decisions in Immigration Case

WASHINGTON, DC – The Biden administration argued in a Supreme Court immigration case Tuesday that states have no standing to sue the federal government over illegal immigration policies, and courts lack the power to strike them down anyway.

Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas and Attorney General Jeff Landry of Louisiana sued the Biden administration over immigration policy, arguing that so-called enforcement guidelines as developed and administered by the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department violate certain provisions of federal law.

The states – joined by three dozen more states filing supporting briefs – sued under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which in 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A), authorizes judges to “hold unlawful and set aside” – which means to vacate – agency actions that are arbitrary, capricious, “or otherwise not in accordance with law.” It is the law most commonly used to sue federal agencies for acting inconsistently with federal statutes passed by Congress.

At issue are provisions of immigration law where Congress in 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) said authorities “shall detain” aliens who are convicted of aggravated felonies. But the Biden administration issued a guidance memo saying that instead aliens should be detained only if the agency determines they are a threat to public safety, listing various factors for making that determination.

Judge Drew Tipton of the Southern District of Texas rendered judgment in favor of the states, vacating (i.e., striking down) the policy. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed, and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

The Biden administration argued in response states have no standing to bring such a lawsuit at all in court, and courts lack the constitutional power to do what the states were asking anyway.

“Now it’s our job to say what the law is, not whether or not it can be possibly implemented or whether there are difficulties there,” Chief Justice John Roberts said to U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar. “And I don’t think we should change that responsibility just because Congress and the executive can’t agree on something that’s possible to address this problem. I don’t think we should let them off the hook.”

When Roberts explained he thought “shall” in Section 1226 means “shall,” Prelogar responded by saying giving effect to the words of Congress’s immigration law “would be incredibly destabilizing on the ground,” adding that it “would absolutely scramble immigration enforcement efforts on the ground.”

Prelogar also shocked justices across the judicial spectrum by arguing that Section 706 of the APA did not give courts the power to vacate agency actions, despite the fact that there have been thousands of cases doing so over the past 80 years, many of which have been affirmed by the Supreme Court over that lengthy period.

That sweeping claim of executive power to escape judicial review is “fairly radical,” Roberts said.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson seemed to agree, telling Prelogar of “the conceptual problem I’m having with your argument” that courts do not have power to fully set aside agency regulations and orders, explaining “Congress has said in the APA that in order to make valid and legally binding policies, agencies have to follow certain procedures,” and that when an agency fails to do so “what the agency did is void.”

“And the government has never made this argument in all the years of the APA,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh said, calling it “a pretty radical rewrite” of the principal federal law that defines the power of federal agencies.

“And I find it pretty astonishing that you come up here and make … [that] the main part of your submission, and I’m going to push back pretty strongly,” Kavanaugh added.

For his part, Justice Samuel Alito balked at the Justice Department’s argument that states lack standing under Article III of the Constitution to sue federal agencies under circumstances like these. He apparently rejected Prelogar’s argument, saying it meant that “an injury sufficient for Article III for purposes for an individual or for a private entity is not sufficient in your view for states,” calling it a “special rule” that “disfavored” states in court.

Justice Elena Kagan also focused on the issue of standing but leaning the opposite direction, expressing skepticism that Texas and Louisiana had standing to bring this matter to court, saying “it’s hard to think of” federal policies that states could not challenge in federal court if they could – as the states did here – come up with a dollar amount of damages the states claim resulted from a federal policy, calling such claims of harm “speculative.”

Texas Solicitor General Judd Stone responded by giving one of what he said were many examples of harm, referencing an illegal alien who was released, and later was arrested again for human trafficking.

“That’s not speculative. It occurred,” Stone insisted.

Kavanaugh also had questions for Stone, looking for a limiting principle for the court’s decision if the justices ruled in favor of the states, saying that he was concerned what the court’s order would say if federal agencies must achieve results that they do not have the resources to accomplish.

Stone replied that is not an issue here, because “there is an on-the-record finding of bad faith,” that the Biden administration was deliberately not trying to achieve the results required by law, arguing that when a court determines that an agency is deliberately not trying to follow the law, that courts can strike down the policy that is inconsistent with how the law is written.

The case has far-reaching consequences beyond immigration, although on that topic alone it would still be a major case. A decision is expected by the end of June.

The case is United States v. Texas, No. 22-58 in the Supreme Court of the United States.

Breitbart News senior legal contributor Ken Klukowski is a lawyer who served in the White House and Justice Department.

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