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White House condemns Texas' criminalization of illegal immigration; other open-border leftists sue
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White House condemns Texas' criminalization of illegal immigration; other open-border leftists sue

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott rankled the White House and other leftist outfits Monday by ratifying legislation that effectively makes illegal immigration a state crime.

While press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had some unkind words for Republicans seeking to curb criminality and to protect American sovereignty, the ACLU filed a lawsuit to prevent Senate Bill 4 from going into effect in March.

The law

SB4 would make illegal entry into the Lone Star State a class B misdemeanor as well as allow for foreign nationals who refuse to leave the country to be charged with a second-degree felony, which carries prison time of up to 20 years.

Under the law, which may ultimately go before the Supreme Court for review, illegal aliens found in Texas "at any time" who have previously been convicted of two or more misdemeanors involving drugs, crimes against a person, or both would be charged with a third-degree felony.

"Four years ago, the United States had the fewest illegal border crossings in decades," Abbott said in a statement Monday. "It was because of four policies put in place by the Trump administration that led to such a low number of illegal crossings. President Biden has eliminated all of those policies and done nothing to halt illegal immigration."

Over 6.6 million illegal aliens have illegally crossed the border since President Joe Biden took office.

Abbott noted Tuesday on X, "Texas will continue stepping up until we have a new president who will enforce the law."

Biden White House condemns the law

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre lashed out at Texas and Republicans during Tuesday's press briefing, calling SB4 "an extreme law that will not and does not make the communities in Texas safer. It just doesn't."

"I think to add to that is that it is very much in line with what Republicans — many Republicans like to do or tend to do, which is dema-, de-, de-, demonize immigrants and also dehumanize immigrants," continued Jean-Pierre. "This is part of this. And so, uh, this is not who we are as a country. This is not who we should be as a country. Communities should not, should not be individually targeted and put into harm's way."

The press secretary then suggested that Abbott has previously put illegal aliens who voluntarily steal into the nation in harm's way by installing border defenses and "leaving migrants in the side of the road in the middle of winter."

"This is certainly extreme, as we see it. And it is incredibly unfortunate. But this is what we see from particular Republicans trying to dehumanize a group of people who are coming here or some of them trying to migrate here. And — and they're putting them in harm’s way. They're putting them in harm's way," added Jean-Pierre.

A reporter raised the matter of the ACLU of Texas' lawsuit against Texas over SB4 and pressed Jean-Pierre over whether the Biden Department of Justice will similarly seek to preclude the Lone Star State from doing the work the Biden administration appears unwilling to do.

"So, Department of Justice, they're going to decide whether they're going to file a lawsuit here," said Jean-Pierre. "Certainly, I'm not going to get ahead of that."

The press secretary refused to indicate whether she was concerned that the current conservative-leaning Supreme Court might overrule the court's 2012 ruling in Arizona v. United States and/or give Texas a win over SB4, stating only, "There is precedent. It was struck down. I can't speak for this current Court."

ACLU sues to axe the law

The ACLU, the ACLU of Texas, and the Texas Civil Rights Project filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of El Paso County and two groups that aid illegal aliens, namely Las Americas and American Gateways.It appears the plaintiffs would prefer to see the ability to clamp down on illegal immigration kept in the hands of those who refuse to wield it.

The lawsuit claims that SB4 violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and usurps federal authority by enabling state and local law enforcement officers to enforce immigration law. Invoking Arizona v. United States, the complaint further stresses that the federal government has exclusive power over immigration.

According to the complaint, SB4 will "frustrate" the groups' ability to work with de facto criminals by sending border-crossers packing or into hiding.

Rochelle Garza, the president of the Texas Civil Rights Project, said in a statement, "SB 4 is unconstitutional and paints a target on the friends & loved ones of all undocumented Texans to be profiled, stopped, or arrested by law enforcement."

The ACLU said in a statement, "We're suing to block Texas from enforcing the most extreme anti-immigrant law in the nation. This unconstitutional law allows Texas judges to deport people and allows police to arrest people over suspicions about immigration status."

If successful in its legal challenge, the ACLU will deliver at least one foreign power a victory.

Blaze News previously reported that Mexican officials are opposed to SB4, noting in a Nov. 15 statement that "the Government of Mexico categorically rejects any measure that allows state or local authorities to detain and return Mexican or foreign nationals to Mexican territory."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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