Supreme Court halts big win for Texas immigration law

2R6CC4W Texas Republican Governor GREG ABBOTT signs several bills to strengthen Texas border security including deployment of a 1000-foot floating barrier in the middle of the Rio Grande where groups of migrants try to cross. At left is Texas Dept. of Public Safety Director STEVE MCCRAW. Credit: Bob Daemmrich/Alamy Live News

Photo: Alamy

The U.S. Supreme Court has placed a temporary freeze Monday evening on a federal appeals court decision to allow state authorities to arrest illegal immigrant crossing the southern border.

The freeze from the high court comes just nearly two days after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a temporary stay of a lower court’s ruling on Saturday, which would have prevented Texas authorities from arresting illegal immigrants, Texas officials confirmed.

Governor Greg Abbott, R-Texas, took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to announce that the states Senate Bill 4 (SB4) was approved thanks to the federal appeals court prior to the the U.S. Supreme Court intervening.

“Federal appeals court allows Texas immigration law to take effect. Law enforcement officers in Texas are now authorized to arrest & jail any illegal immigrants crossing the border,” Abbott stated in his post.

Abbott signed SB4 into the Texas law on Dec. 18, 2023 which gives state authorities the right to stop, arrest, and jail illegal immigrants who crossing into the U.S. from the southern border. Additionally, it also allows the state’s judges to issue de facto deportation orders against migrants who are found to be violating the law.

“The goal of Senate Bill 4 is to stop the tidal wave of illegal entry into Texas,” Abbott stated during the signing ceremony. “Senate Bill 4 is now law in the state of Texas.”

SB4 was scheduled to take effect on March 5, however, U.S. District Judge David Ezra had blocked the law in late February just days prior to its start date, according to NBC5. Following his ruling, Ezra claimed that the potential Texas law “threatens the fundamental notion that the United States must regulate immigration with one voice.”

Texas has seen a massive amount of illegal crossings, with December 2023 hitting an all-time high record of 302,000 encounters for the month, according to ABC News. As Republicans have called for a solution to shut down the border, Texas authorities have been in a legal battle with the federal government over the state’s right to defend itself.

Justice Samuel Alito, who issued the hold on the legislation, gave the block until March 13, which is reportedly to allow the court to have additional time to review the case, according to CNN. The initial start date prior to the Supreme Court stepping in was scheduled for the morning of March 10, the outlet reported.

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