Federal Judge Halts Texas’ Controversial New Immigration Law

Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu via Getty Images
Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked a controversial new Texas law that would make it illegal to cross into the state from Mexico, as both President Joe Biden and Donald Trump are expected to make appearances in cities along the Texas border.

In December, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB4 into law, allowing state officers to arrest anyone they suspect of crossing into the country illegally and deport them. The law, which was set to go into effect on March 5, was touted by state Republicans as a necessary response to President Biden’s inability to address a surge of immigration at the Southern border.

In the preliminary injunction filed on Thursday, federal Judge David Ezra cited the Supremacy Clause, which affirms that states cannot exercise immigration enforcement, as that is a duty of the federal government.

He wrote that the new law would threaten the “fundamental notion” that the United States speaks with “one voice” on issues of immigration, and could open up the possibility of other states creating their own immigration policies.

The order also countered claims that a surge in immigration constitutes an “invasion” at the Southern border, as Abbott has previously claimed.

On Thursday, Biden is expected to make an appearance in Brownsville, Texas, where he “will discuss the urgent need to pass the Senate bipartisan border security agreement,” according to a statement from the White House.

Trump is expected in Eagle Pass, Texas, where Gov. Abbott has created a zone free of federal oversight at Shelby Park. Biden and the Democrats have continued to blame Trump for urging GOP members to sink a bipartisan border bill earlier this month.

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