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Judge halts Texas law that would allow police to arrest, deport illegal immigrants — claims Biden hasn’t ‘abandoned’ border
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Judge halts Texas law that would allow police to arrest, deport illegal immigrants — claims Biden hasn’t ‘abandoned’ border

A Texas federal judge on Thursday placed a preliminary injunction on a new Texas law that would allow local authorities to arrest and deport immigrants who enter the state illegally.

What's the background?

Senate Bill 4, signed into law in December by Republican Governor Greg Abbott, would make illegally crossing the southern border into Texas a class B misdemeanor. Local law enforcement officials would have the authority from the state to arrest, detain, prosecute, and even deport illegal immigrants. Individuals who refuse to leave could be charged with a second-degree felony and face up to 20 years in prison. Those caught smuggling illegal immigrants into the state could be sentenced to at least 10 years in prison.

Abbott hoped to address the state's immigrant crisis by "crack[ing] down on repeated attempts to enter Texas by creating the offense of illegal reentry and penalizes offenders," according to a December press release from his office. The governor accused the president of refusing to enforce the country's immigration laws and prompting an invasion.

Shortly after signing the bill, the Biden administration sued Texas, claiming the law "is preempted and violates the United States Constitution." The Department of Justice contended that Senate Bill 4 "intrudes into a field that is occupied by the federal government" and "conflicts with various provisions of the [Immigration and Nationality Act]."

Renae Eze, a spokesperson for Abbott, stated that the governor's administration is prepared to take the legal battle "all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court."

Judge blocks SB 4

U.S. District Judge David Ezra, appointed by former President Ronald Reagan, granted an injunction on Thursday, preventing the new law from taking effect while the case is being reviewed.

In Ezra's 114-page ruling, he rejected Texas' claims that the Biden administration has failed to enforce federal immigration laws.

"The Court is sympathetic to Texas's concerns at the border, but to say that the Biden Administration has 'abandoned' the field of immigration is to take hyperbolic criticism literally," he wrote. "Contrary to Texas's position, the record is replete with examples and evidence of the federal government carrying out its immigration duties."

"Texas may disagree with diplomatic efforts or contest their effectiveness, but it cannot maintain in good faith that those efforts constitute 'abandonment,'" Ezra declared, accusing Texas of confusing "the figurative for the literal."

The federal judge claimed that the state "is unlikely to succeed on the merits." Ezra claimed that if Texas wins the lawsuit and its new law is enforced, the federal government "will suffer grave irreparable harm."

"If allowed to proceed, SB 4 could open the door to each state passing its own version of immigration laws," he stated. "The effect would moot the uniform regulation of immigration throughout the country and force the federal government to navigate a patchwork of inconsistent regulations. SB 4 threatens the fundamental notion that the United States must regulate immigration with one voice."

Abbott responded to the judge's decision on Thursday, noting that the preliminary injunction "was fully expected."

"Texas will immediately appeal this decision, and we will not back down in our fight to protect our state—and our nation—from President Biden's border crisis. The President of the United States has a constitutional duty to enforce federal laws protecting States, including laws already on the books that mandate the detention of illegal immigrants. Texas has the right to defend itself because of President Biden's ongoing failure to fulfill his duty to protect our state from the invasion at our southern border. Even from the bench, this District Judge acknowledged that this case will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court," Abbott stated.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →