A Texas National Guard soldier stands atop a barrier of shipping containers and razor wire while guarding the U.S.-Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas

Appeals court halts Immigration law in Texas permits the prosecution of migrants

immigration laws Austin, Texas: On Tuesday night, a federal appeals court once again put a hold on SB 4,

a Texas law that would give state and local law enforcement the power to detain and even expel individuals they believe are illegally in the country.

This development adds even more drama to the complex legal battle over state immigration laws.

U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for the contentious state law to go into effect on Tuesday,

enabling Texas authorities to start enforcing it. The measure was enthusiastically embraced by the state’s Republican leadership

and denounced by Democratic officials and immigrant rights activists.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made its 2-1 decision hours later.

If the state files an appeal against a federal judge’s block on Senate Bill 4, the judges on the panel that issued

the decision Tuesday night are scheduled to hear arguments on Wednesday morning.

Circuit Judge Andrew Oldham was one of the members who openly disagreed,

stating that he would keep the statute in place for the time being.

“Until tomorrow’s oral argument on the matter, I would leave that stay in place,” he wrote.

Notwithstanding the outcome of the 5th Circuit’s proceedings on Wednesday,

the appeals court will continue to hear arguments the following month over the law’s constitutionality

and whether it ought to be permanently halted immigration laws.

Due to the court’s rejection of emergency appeals from the Biden administration and other parties,

SB 4 was allowed to take effect earlier on Tuesday. This was the result of intense legal maneuvering around the bill.

The ruling gave Texas, which has been at odds with the Biden administration over immigration policy,

a big, if short-lived, victory.

Oral arguments over whether to block the statute while it evaluates its legal challenges were planned by the appeals court hours later.

The court scheduled virtual oral arguments for Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET.

Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 4 into law in December, making it a state felony to enter Texas unlawfully

and giving state judges the authority to order the deportation of immigrants. Generally speaking,

the federal government is in charge of immigration enforcement immigration laws.


Texas: Migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. cross the Rio Bravo on the border of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on Tuesday.
Migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. cross the Rio Bravo on Tuesday‘s border of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

Immigration groups were immediately alarmed by the law, fearing an increase in racial profiling and detentions.

They attempted deportations by state officials in Texas, a state where forty percent of the population is Latino.

Because the bill “could open the door to each state passing its version of immigration laws,”

a federal judge in Austin had barred the state government from putting it into effect last month.

Concerns about the bill were also voiced by the three liberal justices on the Supreme Court,

who dissented on Tuesday from the top court’s order allowing it to go into effect for a brief while.

Opponents consider the law to be the most dramatic attempt by a state to police immigration since an

Arizona law more than a decade ago, portions of which were struck down by the Supreme Court.

Critics have also said the Texas law could lead to civil rights violations and racial profiling.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the law “harmful and unconstitutional”

and said it would burden law enforcement while creating confusion. She called congressional Republicans to settle

the issue with a federal border security bill immigration laws.

Texas, for its part, has argued it has a right to take action over what authorities have called an ongoing crisis at the southern border.

The liberal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, dissenting with Justice Sonia Sotomayor,

stated that the action “invites further chaos and crisis in immigration enforcement.”

“Upending the federal-state balance of power that has existed for over a century,

in which the National Government has had exclusive authority over entry and removal of noncitizens,

” Sotomayor stated in her dissenting opinion in response to the measure.

There’s a chance the case will return to the Supreme Court shortly.



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