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Supreme Court Halts Texas Immigration Law: What You Need to Know

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily frozen a Texas law that allows state officials to arrest migrants and order them to leave the country.

On Monday, Justice Samuel Alito issued an administrative hold to block the law from taking effect until March 13. The block will give the court more time to review the law, which has been called the most drastic attempt to control immigration since an Arizona law more than a decade ago.

The law, Senate Bill 4, was set to take effect on March 10 under a ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court’s decision came just hours after the Justice Department asked the high court to intervene.

The Justice Department said that the law would alter “the status quo that has existed between the United States and the States in the context of immigration for almost 150 years,” and that it would have significant and adverse effects on the country’s relationship with Mexico.

S.B.4 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott in December. Since then, several nonprofits have raised concerns about increased racial profiling of Latinos, who make up 40 percent of Texas’ population.

“Make no mistake: S.B. 4 bypasses federal immigration authority and threatens the integrity of our nation’s constitution and laws,” a coalition of groups that sued over the law wrote in a statement.

S.B. 4 allows state officials to arrest people suspected of entering the U.S. illegally. Those arrested could then agree to a judge’s order to leave the country or face a misdemeanor charge of entering the country illegally.

Last week, Judge David Alan Ezra, a federal judge in Austin, blocked the state government from implementing the law.

“If allowed to proceed, SB 4 could open the door to each state passing its own version of immigration laws,” he wrote.

Ezra also criticized Republicans for saying the country faces an ongoing “invasion” along the southern border because of illegal crossings.

Republican governors have backed Abbott’s efforts to stop migration, saying the federal government has done little to curb illegal entries.

This is part of Abbott’s ongoing feud with the federal government. The Texas governor has installed a floating barrier in the Rio Grande and blocked U.S. Border Patrol agents from accessing a riverfront park in Eagle Pass.

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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