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Four Texas sheriffs, their counties, and ICE representatives have sued President Biden and officials of the Department of Homeland Security for preventing federal officers from deporting illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds.

Kinney, Edwards, McMullen and Hudspeth counties along with the Federal Police Foundation—which represents ICE officers – filed a complaint Thursday calling on the Biden administration to allow ICE officials to do their job, Fox News reports. 

The complaint alleges the decision by then-acting DHS Secretary David Pekoske on Jan. 20 temporarily paused deportations and enticed criminal immigrants to come into the U.S. without fear of reprisal. 

"The ICE officers involved in this case are absolutely astounded at what their superiors are asking them to do: releasing people charged with rape of a child, releasing people charged with dealing drugs and resisting arrest,"  Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state and the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, told the Washington Examiner Friday. "These are really serious criminals, and ICE is being ordered by the political leadership of the Biden administration to turn them loose."

On Feb. 18, acting ICE Director Tae Johnson issued a memo directing ICE officials to hold off on taking illegal immigrants into custody without first getting the permission of ICE leadership. 

The only instances when an illegal immigrant can be taken into custody otherwise is if they are a known or suspected terrorist, entered the country before the 2020 presidential election, have been convicted of an aggregated felony, or are part of a criminal gang, the Washington, D.C.-based publication noted.