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Texas efforts to secure the border are undermined as the SCOTUS bans a controversial law on Biden admin’s behalf

With the help of Florida and several other Republican-led states, Texas successfully addressed the border crisis following record-breaking surges in illegal immigration on two occasions over the past 18 months. Recent reports suggest that the issue of illegal immigration is now increasingly affecting California and Arizona, but it’s also becoming a central issue in the presidential campaign.

Texas combating the border crisis

Texas’ dedication to fortifying its southern border has led to the implementation of several controversial measures. Under Operation Lone Star, Texas authorities have employed various strategies to mitigate the impact of illegal immigration on its border cities. These areas faced not only economic strains but also increased security concerns due to the influx of undocumented immigrants. These initiatives appear to be yielding positive outcomes for Texas. At least for now.

The Supreme Court put a temporary hold on a new Texas law about immigration, following a request from President Biden's team

Texas clash with the federal government

Despite facing criticism, Texas officials have consistently argued that the federal government has fallen short in effectively safeguarding the border. The tension between Texas and the federal government has sparked numerous conflicts and legal challenges. In a notable move, House Republicans recently impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by a narrow margin. But the Biden admin now responds after asking SCOTUS to ban controversial Texas law.

SCOTUS temporarily suspends controversial Texas law following Biden admin request

On Monday, the Supreme Court put a hold on a new Texas law about immigration, following a request from President Biden’s team. This decision, made by Justice Samuel Alito, a conservative, stopped a previous court’s ruling which would have let the law start on Sunday.

Read also: Was Texas busing migrants to New York for a reason? Trump says he prepares heavy play for NY.

Now, this law is paused until March 13, which gives the nine Supreme Court justices extra time to figure out their next moves. Alito has also asked Texas to reply to President Biden’s request by March 11. The law being discussed, Senate Bill 4, would let police arrest people who cross into the U.S. from Mexico without permission and would apply criminal charges.

The Supreme Court put a temporary hold on a new Texas law about immigration, following a request from President Biden's team

The disagreement between the Biden administration and Texas deepens

This situation is another instance of disagreement between President Biden’s administration and Texas regarding how to manage immigration at the border with Mexico. Initially, a federal judge stopped the law due to a lawsuit from Biden’s administration. However, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans mentioned in a quick decision that the law could start on March 10 unless the Supreme Court stepped in.

In Monday’s emergency filing, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said the Texas law is “flatly inconsistent” with Supreme Court precedent dating back 100 years.

“Those decisions recognize that the authority to admit and remove noncitizens is a core responsibility of the national government, and that where Congress has enacted a law addressing those issues, state law is preempted,” she wrote as reported by NBC News.

Prelogar pointed out that the appeals court didn’t give a reason for letting the law start. She argued against Texas’ claim that the law is justified because the state is dealing with an invasion at its border, as per the State War Clause in the Constitution.

Read also: Republicans were right to boycott the border bill, most Americans think the same, a survey shows

According to Prelogar, a big increase in unauthorized immigration doesn’t count as an invasion based on the State War Clause. The city of El Paso and two groups that support immigrant rights, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center and American Gateways, are also against the law. They’ve asked the Supreme Court for urgent action.

About the Senate Bill 4

In December, Governor Greg Abbott signed a law known as SB 4, showing Texas’ continued efforts to discourage people from illegally crossing the Rio Grande. This move comes after several years of unprecedented numbers of migrants arriving at the border between Texas and Mexico.

SB 4 aims to classify illegal border crossing as a Class B misdemeanor, which could result in up to six months in jail. According to the law, individuals who are caught crossing illegally again could be charged with a second-degree felony, facing anywhere from two to twenty years in prison.

Additionally, the law mandates that state judges must order convicted migrants to be sent back to Mexico, and local police are tasked with transporting them to the border. However, a judge has the option to dismiss the charges if the migrant agrees to go back to Mexico on their own.

The Supreme Court put a temporary hold on a new Texas law about immigration, following a request from President Biden's team

Several lawsuits challenged the law

The American Civil Liberties Union, alongside its Texas branch and the Texas Civil Rights Project, filed a lawsuit against Texas on behalf of El Paso County and two organizations advocating for immigrant rights—the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso and American Gateways in Austin—challenging SB 4. The next month, the U.S. Department of Justice also launched a lawsuit against Texas. These legal actions have since been merged into one case.Top of Form



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