Federal Judge Blocks Texas Law Allowing Arrest of Illegals

A federal judge in Austin, Texas, has issued a temporary injunction against a contentious state law allowing Texas police to detain individuals believed to have crossed the border unlawfully. This ruling represents a notable win for the Biden administration and immigration advocacy organizations, disrupting Texas’ recent efforts to address illegal immigration and potentially initiating a protracted legal dispute.

Senate Bill 4 (S.B. 4), signed by Governor Greg Abbott in December 2023, and scheduled to become effective on March 5th, has been put on hold by U.S. District Judge David Ezra through a preliminary injunction. This decision suspends its enforcement pending the resolution of legal disputes in court.

Judge Ezra’s decision primarily focused on apprehensions that S.B. 4 could encroach upon the federal government’s sole jurisdiction over immigration issues. He contended that upholding the law could lead to a disorderly array of state-level immigration regulations, posing significant and irreversible damage to the federal government’s capacity to oversee immigration nationwide.

Furthermore, Ezra voiced worry that S.B. 4 could run afoul of constitutional rights and international agreements by potentially detaining or expelling individuals who qualify for asylum.

Governor Abbott, known for his outspoken criticism of the Biden administration’s immigration strategies, pledged to persist in challenging the ruling. He asserts that Texas, confronted with a surge of migrants at its border, possesses the constitutional authority to protect itself, even labeling the situation as an “invasion.” Nonetheless, Judge Ezra rejected this assertion, asserting that he found no substantiation of an “invasion” occurring in Texas.

The legal opposition against S.B. 4 was spearheaded by a coalition consisting of the U.S. Department of Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and various immigrant rights groups based in Texas. These organizations celebrated the court’s decision as a triumph for human rights, the U.S. Constitution, and communities across Texas. They voiced apprehensions that S.B. 4 could result in racial profiling, infringe upon the rights of border inhabitants, and exacerbate the challenges within an already beleaguered immigration framework.




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