Texas Law Giving Police Authority to Arrest Unauthorized Immigrants Entering the US is Blocked by a Judge

The Biden administration gained a win in its ongoing court battle with Republican Governor Greg Abbott over immigration enforcement on Thursday when a federal judge struck down a new Texas statute that offers police extensive authority to detain foreign nationals who are suspected of entering the country illegally. The U.S. District Judge David Ezra’s preliminary injunction delays the implementation of a legislation that was scheduled to go into effect on March 5. An appeal is anticipated from Texas officials. The Texas bill’s opponents have referred to it as the most drastic attempt by a state to control immigration since an Arizona legislation passed in 2010 and denounced as a “Show Me Your Papers” bill.


Texas and President Joe Biden’s administration are engaged in a number of court disputes on the extent to which the state may attempt to stop migrants from crossing the border, and this case is just one of them. The bill would provide state law enforcement officials the authority to detain anyone they believe are entering the nation unlawfully. Once in detention, individuals might consent to an order from a Texas judge to depart the nation or be charged with a misdemeanor for illegally entering the country. If a migrant refuses to leave after being told to, they may face more arrests and more criminal charges.


Ezra voiced doubt about the state’s argument for Senate Bill 4 during a hearing on February 15. Additionally, he acknowledged that he shared some of Abbott’s and other state officials’ worries regarding the high volume of unauthorized crossings. Ronald Reagan nominated Ezra, who expressed concern that the US would turn into a confederation of states with separate immigration policies. Ezra informed the lawyers, “That is the same thing the Civil War said you can’t do.” Legal groups representing civil rights groups have sued the state, claiming the bill may result in racial profiling and other abuses of civil rights.

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