Montana’s top prosecutor on Monday joined a lawsuit filed last month by Arizona that seeks to halt President Biden’s new immigration policies.

The lawsuit was originally filed Feb. 3 by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, to stop a 100-day moratorium on deportations issued by the Biden administration.

The lawsuit was amended Monday to add Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, also a Republican, and to challenge guidance issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Feb. 18 that indicated that the agency would primarily apprehend and remove people who pose a threat to national security or those who’ve committed crimes designated as “aggravated” felonies, such as violent offenses or drug trafficking, or recently crossed the border illegally.

The new policy represents a break from the agency’s direction under former President Donald Trump, whose administration arrested and removed anyone in the country illegally regardless of criminal history or community ties.

The lawsuit argues that the new policy violates federal law that requires that a person who has received a final deportation order be removed from the U.S. within 90 days.

The suit estimates that Montana has some 4,000 to 5,000 immigrants living in the state without legal permission. That’s one of the smallest populations among U.S. states of immigrants without legal permission in the U.S. as a percentage of the total state population, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center tally.


An Idaho House panel has approved legislation banning anyone under 21 from buying cigarettes or electronic smoking products.

The state’s House Health and Welfare Committee on Tuesday approved the measure that would bring Idaho in line with the federal smoking age. Former President Donald Trump signed a law last year that bars tobacco sales to anyone under 21.

Supporters said Idaho stores are already abiding by federal law, but state law needs to be changed to avoid confusion and confrontations in stores.

Opponents said the law will limit local governments in prohibiting specific types of smoking products. Opponents also said young people aged 18 to 20 who can legally do such things as join the military or buy a house should be able to buy cigarettes or vaping products.

The bill has passed the Senate.


The mother of a Colorado boy with autism filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday, alleging that school officials and sheriff’s deputies in a suburban Denver county “aggressively handcuffed” and detained the 11-year-old in 2019 for hours after he poked a classmate with a pencil.

The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages, filed in U.S. District Court, contends that deputies left the boy handcuffed and alone for two hours.

It also says officials didn’t seek medical attention for the boy when he hit his head on a plexiglass partition in a patrol car and that he was held in a youth detention center on various assault and resisting arrest charges until his parents could post a $25,000 bond.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.

The boy’s detention happened Aug. 29, 2019, when the boy poked a classmate with a pencil after the classmate wrote on him with a marker at Sagewood Middle School in the Douglas County town of Parker, according to the lawsuit. The suit adds that the boy, whom it identifies as “A.V.,” is sensitive to touch and became agitated when the classmate used the marker.

The boy was calming down with the help of the school psychologist when school resource police officers notified by the school’s principal arrived and the boy was arrested, the lawsuit says.

He was handcuffed and taken into custody for investigation of misdemeanor assault for allegedly injuring his classmate, two charges of misdemeanor harassment for allegedly striking school staff, and second-degree felony assault of a peace officer and a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, the lawsuit says. The charges were later dropped.

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