Texas lawyer questions if state ‘went too far’ in immigration case

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – A controversial Texas immigration law that would allow local law enforcement to arrest people they believe are in the country illegally is back in federal court.

Judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Wednesday.

This case will determine if states for the first time can enforce immigration laws.

But the lawyer arguing on behalf of Texas admitted the state may have gone too far.

“Let’s call SB-4 what it is. An unconstitutional, xenophobic, political stunt,” said Daniel Hatoum of the Texas Civil Rights Project.

Civil rights groups protested against the law outside the federal appeals court in New Orleans.

“Our communities deserve better than over policing,” said Hatoum.

Cody Wofsy with the ACLU told the court it should strike down the Texas law.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said Wofsy.

The ACLU and the Biden administration argue the law is unconstitutional because immigration enforcement is historically the job of the federal government.

“It’s vital for the federal government to be able to control it as one system instead of a patchwork from 50 different states,” said Wofsy.

The Texas solicitor general argued the federal government has refused to deal with a surge of migrants coming into its state.

“Now, to be fair, maybe Texas went too far…what Texas has done here, they have tried to develop a statute that goes up to the line of the Supreme Court precedent but allows Texas to protect the border,” said Texas Solicitor General Aaron Nielson.

The case is all but likely headed to the Supreme Court.

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