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Supreme Court Allows Texas To Enforce Controversial Immigration Law

The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Texas to enforce its controversial law that gives police officers the power to arrest migrants suspected of crossing the border illegally.

This is a preliminary decision, and the high court ordered a lower court to decide whether to allow the law to remain in effect while appeals continue.

The majority did not write an opinion in the case because it was an emergency appeal, but the decision drew dissent from liberal justices Ketanji Brown Jackson, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor

“The Court gives a green light to a law that will upend the longstanding federal-state balance of power and sow chaos,” wrote Sotomayor, joined by Jackson.

The law, known as Senate Bill 4, allows state criminal penalties of up to six months in jail for people who enter Texas illegally from Mexico, and gives state judges the power to order deportations to Mexico without Mexico’s consent.

Critics argue that S.B. 4 represents the most aggressive state-led immigration crackdown since Arizona’s controversial law more than a decade ago, parts of which were struck down by the Supreme Court. Opponents of the law fear it could exacerbate tensions and create confusion while burdening law enforcement.

State officers expressed concern about the ability of local police to enforce the law.

“A lot of the local police chiefs here, we don’t believe it will survive a constitutional challenge. It doesn’t look like it’s going to, because a Texas peace officer is not trained. We have no training whatsoever to determine whether an individual is here in this country, legally,” said Sheriff Eddie Guerra of Hidalgo County, president of the Southwestern Border Sheriffs’ Coalition representing 31 border counties from the U.S.

Now that the Supreme Court has allowed Texas to enforce the law, it would go back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, but could eventually return to the Supreme Court.

Arguments in the 5th Circuit are scheduled for April 3.

Written by RA News staff.


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