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Appeals Court Blocks Controversial Texas Migrant Law

Mar 20, 2024

In response to this week’s Supreme Court ruling, a federal appeals court blocked a controversial Texas immigration law that would allow state officials to arrest and detain migrants suspected of entering the country unlawfully. 

Earlier this week, a divided Supreme Court ultimately ruled that Texas would be allowed to implement the new law, despite the Biden administration’s claims that the measures constitute a clear violation of federal immigration authority. 

Texas’ Senate Bill 4 would give state law enforcement sweeping authority to arrest and detain anyone suspected of entering the country unlawfully. It would also authorize state judges to order migrants’ removals from the country. 

In response, Mexico’s government said it would not “under any circumstances” process migrants who are returned to its territory from Texas, except in the case of Mexican citizens. 

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Critics of Abbott’s border approach say the law would sow chaos at the U.S.-Mexico border, burdening local law enforcement and federal officials. Many say the law is also likely to increase racial profiling and civil rights violations of individuals across Texas. 

The decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocks Texas from enforcing the new law, but it is unclear when a final determination will be made. This week’s events are part of a series of ongoing legal disputes between Texas officials and the Biden administration over border policy. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott claims the federal government has not done enough to prevent undocumented border crossings and should be tougher on immigration enforcement.

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