SCOTUS Stops Texas Law Allowing Arrest of Undocumented Migrants

( – Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed Senate Bill 4 into law in December. The legislation gives law enforcement officers and the state courts wide authority over immigration law, a power reserved for the federal government. Now, the Supreme Court has temporarily blocked the law from taking effect.

On March 4, Justice Samuel Alito signed a stay preventing the Texas law from going into effect until March 12 at 5 p.m. at the earliest. The order came after the Department of Justice asked the High Court to block enforcement of the law. The stay reversed a ruling by a lower court.

The legislation allows law enforcement officers to detain and arrest people they believe have entered the country illegally. It also allows police to ask people they believe might have crossed the border unlawfully to produce their immigration status. In some cases, the law requires judges to imprison migrants who entered illegally and deport them.

A federal court judge with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order allowing the law to take effect on March 10 if the Supreme Court didn’t intervene.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar filed an emergency motion with the SCOTUS, saying Senate Bill 4 was “flatly inconsistent” with precedents set by the court for a century. She said the precedents had recognized the sole authority to “admit and remove noncitizens” belongs to the federal government. Further, federal law enacted by Congress preempts state law. That is what the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution states.

Abbott has argued he has the right to take control of immigration enforcement in his state because there’s an ongoing invasion. Prelogar disputed that claim, saying an immigrant surge isn’t “an invasion within the meaning of the State War Clause” of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court gave the state until March 11 to respond to the federal government’s request. At least two immigrant rights groups are also challenging the law.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

Copyright 2024,