Biden administration sues Texas over new border law

The Biden administration sued the State of Texas to stop the enforcement of a new law designed to criminalize unlawful border crossings and authorize state judges to order illegal immigrants out of the country in lieu of prosecution.

Officials in the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an 18-page complaint on Wednesday in federal court alleging that Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other state authorities are overstepping their bounds by seeking to implement immigration policy from Austin.

“The United States brings this action to preserve its exclusive authority under federal law to regulate the entry and removal of noncitizens. Texas’s Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) creates purported state immigration crimes for unlawful entry and unlawful reentry, permits state judges and magistrates to order the removal of noncitizens from the country, and mandates that state officials carry out those removal orders,” the complaint reads.

“But Texas cannot run its own immigration system. Its efforts, through SB 4, intrude on the federal government’s exclusive authority to regulate the entry and removal of noncitizens, frustrate the United States’ immigration operations and proceedings, and interfere with U.S. foreign relations. SB 4 is invalid and must be enjoined.”

Responding to the lawsuit, Abbott doubled down on his position that Texas needs to take aggressive measures to secure the border.

“Biden sued me today because I signed a law making it illegal for an illegal immigrant to enter or attempt to enter Texas directly from a foreign nation. I like my chances. Texas is the only government in America trying to stop illegal immigration,” Abbott wrote.

Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta called SB 4 “clearly unconstitutional” in a DOJ news release.

“Under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution and longstanding Supreme Court precedent, states cannot adopt immigration laws that interfere with the framework enacted by Congress. The Justice Department will continue to fulfill its responsibility to uphold the Constitution and enforce federal law,” Gupta said.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton authored a letter to Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton last week demanding that Texas agree to avoid enforcing SB 4 by Wednesday. Boynton said the law violates the precedent set in Arizona v. United States, a case in which the Supreme Court forestalled an effort by lawmakers in the Grand Canyon State to stop illegal aliens on state charges.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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