President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice is threatening to sue the state of Texas over a new law allowing local law enforcement to arrest and deport illegal immigrants.
According to the DOJ, the newly enacted Senate Bill 4 is unconstitutional and interferes with the federal government’s effort to address the immigration crisis — but with thousands of illegal crossings every day, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is refusing to back down.
In a letter sent to Governor Abbott on Thursday, the DOJ warned that it will “pursue all appropriate legal remedies to ensure that Texas does not interfere with the functions of the federal government” if SB 4 takes effect next year. As Valuetainment previously reported, Governor Abbott signed the bill alongside two other measures last week, coinciding with Texas reporting a new single-day record for illegal migrant crossings.
SB 4 made illegally crossing the Texas border a state misdemeanor, allowing police to arrest and deport migrants directly rather than relying on federal immigration systems. This would be a direct challenge to the Biden administration’s current catch-and-release policy, which allows illegals to remain in the country until court dates as far away as 2030.
At the time, Abbott declared that “President Biden’s deliberate inaction has left Texas to fend for itself.” However, the administration is countering by insisting that the federal government alone has the power to enforce immigration law, citing the 2012 Supreme Court case US v Arizona as precedent.
“Indeed, the Supreme Court has confirmed that ‘the removal process’ must be ‘entrusted to the discretion of the Federal Government’ because a ‘decision on removability’ touches ‘on foreign relations and must be made with one voice,’” the Department’s letter read.
Texas has been given until Wednesday, January 3 to indicate that it will not enforce the law or else face a federal lawsuit.
However, Texas officials are prepared to fight the administration all the way up to the Supreme Court if necessary, setting up the latest in an ongoing series of legal clashes between Abbott and Biden on the immigration issue.
“Texas is prepared to take this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect Texans and Americans from President Biden’s open border policies,” spokesperson Renae Eze said. “President Biden’s deliberate and dangerous inaction at our southern border has left Texas to fend for itself. Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 into law last week to help stop the tidal wave of illegal entry into Texas as the President refuses to enforce federal immigration laws.”
Other recent conflicts between the state and federal governments include separate court proceedings against razor wire barricades deployed at the Eagle Pass border crossing and floating buoys blocking passage across the Rio Grande.