US Supreme Court blocks Texas from implementing immigration law

Washington, DC [US]: The US Supreme Court on Monday blocked Texas from implementing immigration law that would enable state officials to arrest and detain people they suspect of entering the country illegally, CNN reported.

Justice Samuel Alito has issued the order as he oversees the matters arising from the appeals court that is currently considering the case. The order issued by Justice Alito does not include an expiration date for the stay.

The stay will continue to remain in place while the court considers emergency appeals from the Biden administration and others, who want the justices to block enforcement of the law while their legal challenges to it play out, according to CNN report.

Immigration advocates of increased racial profiling as well as detentions and attempted deportations by state authorities in Texas sparked concerns after Senate Bill 4 was signed into law by the Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in December.

The US Justice Department has stated that the law would “profoundly” amend the status quo “that has existed between the United States and the States in the context of immigration for almost 150 years,” CNN reported.

In the court papers, Attorneys for a pair of immigration groups and El Paso County wrote, “People can disagree about immigration. They always have. And Texas may be deeply concerned about recent immigration.”
“But the same was true of California in the 1870s, Pennsylvania and Michigan in the 1930s, and Arizona in 2012. Nevertheless, for 150 years this Court has made clear that states are not allowed to regulate the core immigration field of entry and removal,” they added, the report said.

A federal judge in Texas’ Austin had blocked the state government from enforcing the law.

However, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary stay on the decision announced by the lower court. The court said the law would be implemented on March 10 if the Supreme Court did not take any action.
The appeals were soon filed and Justice Alito issued the administrative stay on March 4.

During the court proceedings, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, and other officials told the Supreme Court that the “Constitution recognizes that Texas has the sovereign right to defend itself from violent transnational cartels that flood the State with fentanyl, weapons, and all manner of brutality.” CNN reported.

The state officials called Texas in court papers as being the US’ “first-line defence against transnational violence.” The state officials stressed that Texas has been “forced to deal with the deadly consequences of the federal government’s inability or unwillingness to protect the border.” Oral arguments at the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals are scheduled to be conducted in April. 

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