Cybersecdn- Texas’s Austin On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice sued the state of Texas and Gov. Greg Abbott to stop a set of new “unconstitutional” state-level immigration penalties from going into action. These include letting police arrest people who enter the country illegally.
Federal prosecutors say in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas that Senate Bill 4, which Abbott signed into law last month, will make it harder for the federal government to enforce immigration rules and even work against them. The new law, SB4, will start applying in March. It makes it a crime to cross the border illegally and includes parts that let state courts deport people.
“Its efforts, through SB 4, intrude on the federal government’s exclusive authority to regulate the entry and removal of noncitizens, frustrate the United States’ immigration operations and proceedings, and interfere with U.S. foreign relations,” the lawsuit states about the new Texas law. “SB 4 is invalid and must be enjoined.”
It’s the latest case against Texas over its immigration policies, which have been looked at closely by the Biden administration and Democratic leaders. There have been lawsuits against the state over the razor wire along the border and the floating barrier Abbott built in the Rio Grande River.
The lawsuit filed on Wednesday comes at a time when Abbott and Democratic-led towns that have taken in migrants sent by the governor are in a fight. Recently, city officials in New York City and Chicago have been pushing back against new immigrants by putting in place limits to handle the large number of people seeking asylum.
Texas’ SB4 Contested Several Times
The Justice Department argues that SB4 is invalid because it goes against the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and is against existing federal law. They are making the case for the federal government on behalf of many federal agencies that are in charge of immigration and foreign relations.
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a statement about the case, “Under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution and longstanding Supreme Court precedent, states cannot pass immigration laws that go against the framework set by Congress.” “The Justice Department will continue to fulfill its responsibility to uphold the Constitution and enforce federal law.”
The Texas Legislature worked very hard all year, and SB4’s parts were strongly argued over many times. Finally, in November, the final bill was passed, which included harsh punishments for people thought to have entered Texas from Mexico other than a legal international port of entry. From a Class B misdemeanor to a second-degree crime, the charges are different.
As part of SB4, people who are suspected of crossing the southern border of the state illegally must either agree to be deported by a magistrate judge or face a second-degree criminal charge for failing to do so.
People have already said that the law is “patently illegal” since Abbott signed it into law on December 18. The next day, the ACLU of Texas sued the Texas Department of Public Safety to stop the law from going into law.
Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Texas U.S. House Delegation sent a letter to the Justice Department last month asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to use his agency’s power over immigration and foreign policy to “stop this unconstitutional and dangerous legislation from going into effect.”
Before the first challenges, Abbott stated, “Texas will take this fight to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary to protect Texans from President Biden’s dangerous open border policies.”
Supporters Say Texas Has Right to Protect Its Border
House Speaker Mike Johnson backed up Abbott’s case Wednesday when he went with a group of Republicans to Eagle Pass, a town on the border. He said that Abbott has “heroically” done more to fix the border problem than any president.
Johnson said that Texas and other border states can make rules to protect their borders. This was different from what the Justice Department said in its suit later that same day.
“So, if you’re the governor of Texas or a border state or any government, you have the duty, the right, and the constitutional power to do the right thing and help your people,” Johnson said at a news conference on Wednesday by the Rio Grande. “So, we have applauded him, we stand with him.”
On X, which used to be Twitter, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote that he is ready to defend challenges to SB4 and fight against the “federal government’s open borders doctrine.” This came after the federal challenge to SB4.
“I am prepared to fight the Biden Administration whose immigration disaster is leading our country to ruin,” Paxton stated. “Texas has the sovereign right to protect our state.”