Judge blocks Texas law that gives police broad powers to arrest migrants

(Eric Gay/associated press)

Judge blocks Texas law that gives police broad powers to arrest migrants

Immigration and the border, Mexico and America


February 29, 2024

A federal judge on Thursday blocked a new law in Texas that would give police broad powers to arrest migrants suspected of entering the US illegally. Greg Abbott on immigration enforcement.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra’s preliminary injunction pauses a law that was set to take effect March 5 and was instituted as president


Biden and his likely Republican challenger in November, Donald Trump, visited Texas’ southern border to discuss immigration. Texas officials are expected to appeal.

Opponents call the Texas measure the most dramatic state effort to control immigration since a 2010 law in Arizona that opponents decried as a Show Me Your Papers bill. The U.S. Supreme Court has partially struck down Arizona’s law, but some Republican leaders in Texas, who often call the influx of migrants an invasion, want the ruling reconsidered.

Ezra cited the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause and U.S. Supreme Court rulings as contributing factors to his ruling. He said the Texas law would violate federal immigration law and the country’s foreign relations and treaty obligations.

An old Scalia dissent is the driving force behind the immigration dispute between Texas and Biden

Allowing Texas to permanently replace federal guidelines because of a so-called invasion would amount to nullifying federal law and authority, an idea that is unconstitutional and has been unequivocally rejected by federal courts since the Civil War, the judge wrote .

Citing the Supreme Court’s decision on the Arizona law, Ezra wrote that the Texas law was left wanting, and he rejected state officials’ claims that large numbers of illegal border crossings constituted an invasion.

The lawsuit is part of several legal battles between Texas and the Biden administration over how far the state can go to prevent migrants from crossing the border.

The measure would allow state law enforcement officials to arrest people suspected of entering the country illegally. Once in custody, they could comply with a Texas judge’s order to leave the country, otherwise they could be charged with a crime for entering the U.S. illegally. Migrants who do not leave after being ordered to do so may be rearrested and charged with a more serious crime.

Judge is skeptical of Texas law allowing police to arrest migrants for illegal entry

At a Feb. 15 hearing, Ezra expressed skepticism as the state advocated for what is known as Senate Bill 4. He also said he was somewhat sympathetic to the concerns of Abbott and other state officials about the high number of illegal crossings.

Ezra, who was appointed by the former president


Reagan said he feared the United States could become a confederation of states enforcing its own immigration laws. “That’s the same thing the Civil War said you can’t do,” Ezra told the lawyers.

Civil rights groups, which have also sued the state, have argued that the law could lead to civil rights violations and racial profiling.

Republicans supporting the bill have said it would not target immigrants already living in the U.S. because of the two-year statute of limitations on the illegal entry fee and would only be enforced along the state’s border with Mexico.

Tensions between Texas and the Biden administration have remained high this year over who can patrol the border and how. Other GOP governors have expressed support for Abbott, who has said the federal government is not doing enough to enforce immigration laws.

Among other measures, Texas installed a floating barrier in the Rio Grande, erected razor wire along the U.S.-Mexico border and blocked Border Patrol agents from accessing a riverside park in Eagle Pass that they previously used to process migrants .


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Hot Topics

Related Articles