Federal Judge Issues Warning On Stopping Texas Border Protections

A federal appeals court panel has blocked the Texas bill that would empower the state to detain and deport anyone believed to have entered the United States illegally.

After a month of legal debate, a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel reached a 2-1 ruling on the statute, often known as SB 4. Since the federal government has always maintained exclusive authority over immigration law, the majority ruling said that Texas’s contention that the statute was constitutional and essential was unlikely to prevail.

On February 29, a federal court stopped the bill that was supposed to take effect on March 5. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in response to Texas’s petition, granted a temporary stay of execution of the statute and postponed further action for seven days to give the Biden administration time to appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted multiple extensions of the stay on SB 4 until they rejected the Biden administration’s emergency petition to halt the law’s progress through lower courts. The Fifth Circuit prolonged its hold on the legislation on Tuesday, just hours after the Supreme Court had authorized it to take effect.

Legal challenges surfaced in January, claiming the move violates federal law and the Constitution by contradicting a 2012 Supreme Court ruling and interfering with the authority of the United States government to control immigration. According to Biden’s administration, the federal government is solely responsible for immigration. The Texas bill would disrupt the implementation of intricate U.S. regulations that regulate deportation operations and the ability for migrants to request asylum and other legal statuses.

Civil rights organizations that had joined the Biden administration in contesting the statute highly praised the verdict on Tuesday. In response to inquiries for comment, neither the US Department of Justice nor the office of Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton were immediately available. Even if the courts ultimately authorize the legislation to go into force, several Texas local law enforcement authorities remain doubtful about its effects due to a lack of enforcement resources.