Supreme Court Stops Texas from Temporarily Enforcing Divisive Immigration Law

( – Texas passed SB 4 last year, and Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed it into law. The legislation gave the state authority to enforce its own immigration laws without the participation of the federal government. The US Supreme Court has now allowed the law to go into effect for the time being.

On March 19, the SCOTUS issued a 6 to 3 ruling allowing the Texas law to take effect while the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hears the case. The decision rejected an emergency appeal by President Joe Biden’s administration, which argued the law violated the Constitution and would sow chaos.

The law allows the state to charge immigrants with a state crime if authorities believe they entered illegally, send them to prison for as many as 20 years if they are caught reentering, and even deport them to Mexico — even if they aren’t Mexican nationals.

The majority did not issue an opinion, as is typical with a ruling in an emergency appeal. However, Justice Amy Coney Barrett was joined by Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a concurring opinion, where they stated it would be premature for the high court to take action against the law before the Fifth Circuit made a decision.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson joined a dissent written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor that slammed the majority’s decision. Sotomayor said the Texas law is going to “disrupt sensitive foreign relations,” hurt asylum seekers, impact federal law enforcement efforts and the “ability to detect and monitor imminent security threats.” She also warned immigrants might be afraid to report crimes, including trafficking.

Sotomayor and Jackson were right to be concerned about foreign relations. Mexico quickly announced it would not be accepting any deported migrants from Texas, but would continue working with the federal government.

Abbott celebrated the decision, calling it a “positive development.”

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, told reporters the “harmful and unconstitutional law” will make the state “less safe” and place a burden on law enforcement agencies.

The Fifth Circuit will hear oral arguments about the case against the law on April 3. However, in a surprise move, the appeals court issued a ruling putting the controversial Texas law back on hold.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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