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Supreme Court allows Texas to enforce immigration law

By 37ci3 Mar19,2024



WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it will allow Texas to make a controversial decision new law it gives local police the power to arrest migrants.

The conservative-majority court, with three liberal justices dissenting, rejected the Biden administration’s emergency appeal, saying the states lacked legislative authority. about immigrationthe matter rests solely with the federal government.

This means that the law can take effect while litigation in lower courts continues. It can still be blocked later.

“The court is giving the green light to a law that would upset the long-standing federal-state balance of power and create chaos,” liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a dissenting opinion. Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson also dissented.

The majority did not explain its reasoning, but one of the conservative justices, Amy Coney Barrett, wrote separately that the appeals court should not yet take up the issue.

“If a decision is not made soon, the applicants may return to this court,” he wrote. He was joined by conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The court has a 6-3 conservative majority.

The law in question, known as SB4, allows police to arrest and impose criminal penalties on migrants who cross the border illegally from Mexico. It would also give state judges the power to order people deported to Mexico.

The dispute is the latest standoff between the Biden administration and the state of Texas over immigration enforcement at the US-Mexico border.

In a separate opinion, Kagan wrote that the Texas law conflicts with federal law, noting that “immigration in general, and the entry and removal of noncitizens in particular, have long been considered a special province of the federal government.”

A federal judge blocked the law after the Biden administration sued, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said in a brief order that it could go into effect on March 10 if the Supreme Court declines to intervene.

On March 4, Justice Samuel Alito temporarily froze the law to give the Supreme Court time to consider the federal government’s request.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said in court filings that the Texas law is “plainly inconsistent” with Supreme Court precedent dating back 100 years.

“These decisions recognize that the power to admit and remove noncitizens is a primary responsibility of the national government, and that when Congress enacts legislation addressing these issues, state laws prevail,” he said.

The appeals court, Prelogar added, did not explain why it allowed the law to go into effect.

He rejected Texas’ argument that the law was defensible under the Constitution’s War Clause on the basis that the state was effectively fighting a border invasion. The provision says states cannot go to war unless they are “actually invaded” or faced with imminent danger.

“An increase in unauthorized immigration is clearly not an invasion within the meaning of the War Clause,” Prelogar said.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who defended the law, said in court filings that the measure supplements federal law and the state should be allowed to enforce it.

The constitution “recognizes the sovereign right of Texas to defend itself against the violent transnational cartels that flood the state with fentanyl, guns and all kinds of brutality,” the constitution said.

Texas is “the nation’s first line of defense against transnational violence, and has been forced to deal with the deadly consequences of the federal government’s inability or unwillingness to protect the border,” Paxton said.

The city of El Paso and two immigrant rights groups, the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center and American Gateways, also challenged the law and filed their own emergency appeals with the Supreme Court.

In 2012, the Supreme Court struck down provisions of Arizona’s tough immigration law. Only two of the majority justices in that case are still on the court: Chief Justice John Roberts and Sotomayor.



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By 37ci3

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