Thursday, 25 April 2024

Appeals court block Texas migrant arrest law again

migrant camp texas border
© Anadolu via GettyMigrants build makeshift tents with blankets to protect themselves from the cold as an American helicopter guards the border
Stops cops from arresting illegal border crosses as state's battle with the Biden administration rages on

A Texas law that allows state police to arrest and deport migrants suspected of illegally entering the United stateswill remain on hold for now, a federal appeals court ruled in a victory for President Joe Biden.

Biden's Justice Department has argued that Texas' law is a violation of federal authority and would create chaos at the border. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has argued the Biden administration isn't doing enough to control the border and that the state has a right to take action.

A panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied - in a 2-to-1 ruling - a request by Texas to let the law take effect while the state's appeal of a judge's ruling blocking it plays out at the appellate court.

'For nearly 150 years, the Supreme Court has held that the power to control immigration - the entry, admission, and removal of noncitizens - is exclusively a federal power,' Judge Priscilla Richman wrote for the majority.

The legal case is far from over.

Texas' law was in effect for several hours on March 19 after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way.

But the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the case. It instead sent the case back to the 5th Circuit, which then suspended enforcement while it considered the latest appeal.

The latest ruling keeps the block in place while the appeal process continues.

In response to the New Orleans ruling, Texas could potentially ask the Supreme Court to allow the law to go into effect. In the meantime, the appeals court holds another hearing on April 3.
abbott biden
Texas governor Greg Abbott and U.S. President Joe Biden
Abbott has said the law is necessary to deal with the record number of migrants crossing into Texas from Mexico and vowed to take the fight all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Abbott's law - known as Senate Bill 4 - allows any Texas law enforcement officer to arrest people suspected of entering the country illegally.

Once in custody, the migrants could either agree to a Texas judge's order to leave the U.S. or be prosecuted on misdemeanor charges of illegal entry.

Migrants who don't leave could face arrest again under more serious felony charges.

Meanwhile, Mexico has said it would refuse to take back anyone who is ordered by Texas to cross the border.
Statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show that this fiscal year alone, there has already been a reported 961,537 border encounters.

The year, which runs from October to September, is already on current pace to break last year's record of 2,475,669.

Overall, nearly 7.3 million migrants have entered the country under Biden's watch, a number greater than the population of 36 individual states, a Fox News analysis found last month.
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