Federal judge blocks Texas law allowing arrest of migrants

Texas’ efforts to secure its southern border were dealt a blow Thursday when a federal judge blocked enforcement of a new law that would allow state police to arrest illegal immigrants.

The new law would give state law enforcement authorities, including police and the Texas Department of Public Safety, the power to arrest people suspected of entering the country illegally, effectively giving them a choice between jail or voluntary departure.

The legislation was introduced by Governor Greg Abbott amid the immigration crisis currently engulfing the nation.

U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra on Thursday blocked a new Texas law that would give police more power to arrest illegal immigrants. United States District Court for the District of Hawaii
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who signed the bill, known as SB4, in December, argued that Texas has the right to protect itself from immigrant “invasion.” Facebook/Governor of Texas

The measure was scheduled to take effect in March, but a judge granted an injunction following a lawsuit by the Justice Department and civil rights groups challenging the measure, saying border issues fall under federal jurisdiction. Ta.

Judge David A. Ezra agreed, writing in his ruling that the law would interfere with the federal government’s constitutional authority to enforce immigration laws and immigrants’ ability to apply for asylum and would “damage U.S. foreign relations.” “I will give you that.” and treaty obligations. ”

Mr Abbott immediately fired back, saying he would appeal the ruling.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (Republican) said, “Texas has a constitutional right to defend itself as President Biden continues to neglect his duty.”

“We will not back down in the fight to protect Texas. This case will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Texas law enforcement has taken control of the Eagle Pass park previously used by Border Patrol agents to process migrants. Getty Images

Abbott, who signed the bill, known as SB4, into law in December, also said that Biden has failed in his constitutional duty to enforce federal laws that protect states, including laws “mandating the detention of illegal immigrants.” He claimed that

In this regard, it was revealed last week that the Venezuelan immigrant who was charged with killing jogger Laken Riley, 22, on February 22nd, entered the United States illegally in El Paso, Texas, in September 2022. became clear and quickly came into focus.

Due to overcrowding, Jose Ibarra was not properly detained and inspected by Border Patrol agents and was instead given asylum papers and allowed into the country, federal law enforcement sources told the Post.

SB4 would make illegal entry into the United States a national crime, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Texas installed razor wire at the U.S.-Mexico border to keep migrants away. Reuters

The fight over the law has intensified an already bitter feud between Texas and the Biden administration over the border.

Mr. Abbott took matters into his own hands by sending busloads of migrants into Democratic-controlled cities, installing floating barriers on the Rio Grande and stringing razor wire along the U.S.-Mexico border. .

Texas authorities also took over control of Border Patrol agents who were cordoned off from Shelby Park in Eagle Pass. The park ends at the Rio Grande River. The Rio Grande forms the border between the United States and Mexico, and was used by immigrants as an easy route to the American mainland.

Texas is locked in a bitter feud with the Biden administration over the border crisis. Getty Images

The city-owned park has since been fortified with shipping crates, razor wire and regular patrols to deter people from trespassing.

Since the Texas Department of Public Safety took control of the region, the number of illegal border crossings has dropped dramatically from 2,000 to 4,000 a day to an average of just 10 a day, Abbott boasted earlier this month. did.

“This shows that deterrence can be successful in reducing illegal immigration,” he added.

Last month, the Department of Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups filed a lawsuit seeking to block SB4.

Ezra, the senior federal district judge in Texas, cited a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down key parts of Arizona’s 2010 immigration package, dubbed the “show me your documents” bill by critics. He steadfastly sided with the plaintiff.

According to the Border Patrol, approximately 120,000 immigrants illegally entered the country between October 2023 and February 2023. james cavom

Granting Texas “permanent override of federal directives” would amount to “nullifying federal law and federal authority, an idea that is unconstitutional and has been unequivocally rejected by federal courts since the Civil War.” ,” Ezra wrote.

The judge also rejected Texas’ argument that the increase in immigration constitutes an “invasion.”

“Even if a small number of immigrants admit to drug trafficking or affiliation with cartels, the state of Texas truly asserts that the noncitizens who cross its borders are an organized force intent on conquest and plunder,” the Ezra decision said. It is not possible,” it says.

The Justice Department did not comment on Thursday’s ruling, but the ACLU hailed it as a “victory.”

“This is a victory for our immigrant rights,” the nonprofit organization said in a statement to X.

Meanwhile, the crisis at the southern border shows no signs of abating, with Border Patrol reporting arrests of more than 890,000 suspected illegal immigrants between October 2023 and February 2023.

An additional 120,000 people successfully entered the United States during the same period, Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens wrote in Wednesday’s X.

with post wire



Sign up to stay informed to breaking news