Abbott Defiant After SCOTUS Temporarily Blocks Texas Immigration Law

Go Nakamura/Reuters
Go Nakamura/Reuters
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has remained defiant amid a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Monday that extended an administrative stay blocking a controversial immigration law from taking effect in the state amid a legal showdown over the border crisis.

The one-page order handed down by the conservative Justice Samuel Alito was issued several minutes after a deadline he set a week ago, eliciting a few moments of confusion as to whether the freeze had lapsed. The latest stay did not include a new deadline, effectively suspending the law indefinitely as the high court weighs its next steps.

Texas’ Senate Bill 4, signed into law by Abbott in December, empowers state and local law enforcement to arrest people on suspicion of illegally crossing the southern border. It was originally set to go into effect earlier this month, but has faced an uphill battle after the Justice Department stepped in, arguing it is “flatly inconsistent” with Supreme Court precedent.

The city of El Paso and at least two immigrant advocacy groups have also challenged the law, saying that it could result in the racial profiling of Hispanic community members.

Federal Judge Halts Texas’ Controversial New Immigration Law

The Biden administration sued Texas over the law in January, saying the state “cannot run its own immigration system.” In filings, it has said that its implementation threatens to “profoundly” alter a status quo “that has existed between the United States and the States in the context of immigration for almost 150 years.”

A federal court in Austin issued a preliminary injunction blocking the law last month, with a judge writing in his order that Texas was likely to lose the case. The state immediately appealed the decision, with Abbott insisting that it would “ultimately be decided” by the Supreme Court.

He acknowledged Monday’s setback in a statement to CBS News, but said it “didn’t halt Texas’ pre-existing authority to arrest for criminal trespass and other violations of the law.”

He continued: “Until President Biden steps up and does his job to secure the border, Texas will continue utilizing every tool and strategy to respond to this Biden-made border crisis. This case remains on schedule to be argued at the 5th Circuit on April 3rd.”

In a tweet, Abbott added, “We continue building the wall, use [National Guard] to erect razor wire barriers to repel migrants & buoys remain in river.”

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