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US Judge Halts Texas Law, Supporting Immigration

US Judge Halts Texas Law, Supporting Immigration

In a significant setback to the enforcement of a contentious Texas law allowing state law enforcement to apprehend and detain those suspected of illegal entry, a U.S. federal judge, David Alan Ezra issued a ruling to suspend the implementation of the law, known as SB4. This decision comes as a temporary measure pending further legal proceedings and reinforces the fundamental principle of federal jurisdiction over immigration enforcement.

Introduced last year, SB4 faced immediate opposition from various quarters, including the federal government and El Paso County. Judge Ezra, in his statement blocking the legislation, expressed concern that if SB4 were allowed to proceed, it could pave the way for each state to pass its own immigration laws, thereby threatening the unified regulation of immigration in the United States.

The judge emphasized that if Texas were to arrest and deport migrants eligible for political asylum, it would not only violate the Constitution but also run afoul of U.S. treaty obligations. The law was slated to be implemented in the coming week.

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Signed into law by Governor Abbott in December, SB4 had raised fears among immigration advocates about potential racial profiling and civil liberties infringements. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other rights groups contended that the law encroached upon federal prerogatives and violated constitutional norms.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, reacting to the ruling, pledged to challenge the decision, underscoring the state’s commitment to addressing what he labeled as “President Biden’s border crisis.” The governor emphasized the federal government’s constitutional duty to enforce immigration laws, indicating a potential escalation in the legal dispute over the controversial legislation.

The White House applauded the injunction, considering it a safeguard against what it deemed a harmful and unconstitutional law. The administration reiterated its call for bipartisan congressional action to address border security concerns, aligning with longstanding efforts to advance a comprehensive border deal that has stalled in the Senate.