Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Divided appeals court extends block on Texas immigration law

By 37ci3 Mar27,2024



On Wednesday morning, a federal appeals court extended the new Texas state immigration lawthat is, the measure cannot take effect while the litigation is ongoing.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans voted 2-1 said an overnight ruling The statute, known as Senate Bill 4, should remain blocked. Same court temporarily froze the law Hours later on March 19, the Supreme Court said it could come into effect.

“For nearly 150 years, the Supreme Court has held that controlling immigration—the entry, admission, and removal of noncitizens—is an exclusive federal prerogative,” Justice Priscilla Richman said. wrote for the majority.

He cited, in part, a 2012 Supreme Court decision that struck down a similar law in Arizona.

Whatever the state’s criticisms of the federal government’s “action and inaction” on immigration, “deciding how, and if at all, to prosecute stateless persons who are in the United States illegally,” Richman wrote.

The state law would allow police to arrest and impose criminal penalties on migrants suspected of illegally crossing the border 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.

Texas could potentially now ask the Supreme Court to allow the law to go into effect. In the meantime, the appeals court is holding its next session on April 3.

Richman and Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez voted to block the law. Judge Andrew Oldham voted for it to take effect.

Richman and Oldham are both Republican appointees, while Ramirez was appointed by President Joe Biden.

It was the same line of judges that lifted the temporary blockade.

Oldham said the law should not be blocked entirely because of hypothetical concerns about how it would be enforced.

As for the federal government’s struggle to control immigration, “the state is always powerless to respond unless it can legislate,” he said.

“Texas can’t do anything because Congress probably did everything, but the lack of federal enforcement means everything Congress did was nothing,” Oldham said.

A federal judge blocked the law after the Biden administration sued, but an appeals court initially said in a brief order that it could go into effect on March 10 if the Supreme Court declined to intervene. Meanwhile, an appeals court has postponed a decision on whether to impose a more permanent block pending Texas’ appeal.

The Supreme Court initially put the law on hold while it determined what steps to take, but said on March 19 that it would allow the measure to go into effect on the understanding that an appeals court would act quickly on the main case.

The Supreme Court’s decision sparked consternation among immigrant rights advocates amid confusion on the ground over whether the law should be implemented immediately.

The appeals court appeared to get the message and promptly imposed a new arrest on the statute while hearing an appeal of a Texas district court ban.



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