New Texas Immigration Rule Faces Legal Challenge

New Texas Immigration Rule Faces Legal Challenge

( – In November, the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 4, which creates a state system to address immigration matters. The bill gives local law enforcement the power to arrest people they suspect crossed the border illegally and allows local judges to deport them — without federal approval. Right after the bill became law, civil rights organizations questioned the constitutionality of the legislation and took the matter to court.

On December 19, the Texas branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU of Texas) and the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) announced it filed a lawsuit on behalf of two immigrant aid groups — Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center and American Gateways — and El Paso County. The plaintiffs aim to stop the law’s enforcement, claiming it “bypasses and conflicts with the federal system.”

A press release revealed that according to Attorney Anand Balakrishnan from the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) and the state’s legislature are trying to get around the “federal immigration system and deny people the right to due process.” He said the law will “disproportionately harm” minorities no matter their “immigration status.” Civil Rights advocates believe the law will break up families, lead to racial profiling, and wrongfully put a large number of minorities in prison.

CBS News reported that when Abbott signed the bill into law, he said the measure would “stop the tidal wave of illegal entry” into his state. The Texas governor has been outspoken about his feelings on how the federal government is handling immigration in the US. He believes the Biden administration is doing a poor job, and Texas has no choice but to take matters into its own hands.

Neither Abbott nor the Texas Department of Public Safety has commented about the latest lawsuit to stop SB4. As it stands now, the law will take effect on March 5, 2024, unless it is blocked by the court.

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