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Biden administration warns Texas it will sue if state imprisons and deports migrants

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The Biden administration warned Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday that legal action would be taken if the state enforces a new law allowing authorities to arrest, detain, prosecute and deport migrants who enter the country illegally.

A Justice Department official said in a letter sent to Abbott that the law was unconstitutional and “contrary to the United States’ commitment to ensuring the treatment of noncitizens consistent with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Act.” Nationality “.

The law, dubbed SB4 or Senate Bill 4, is part of the state’s Operation Lone Star. It comes into force on March 5.

“SB 4 is preempted and violates the United States Constitution. Accordingly, the United States intends to bring action to enjoin enforcement of SB 4 unless Texas agrees to refrain from enforcing the law,” writes Principal Assistant Attorney General Brian Mr. Boynton in the missive: obtained by CBS News.

SB 4, signed into law by Abbott on December 18, makes illegal entry into the United States from Mexico a state crime and authorizes police to arrest individuals suspected of crossing the Rio Grande between points of entrance.

A spokesperson for the Texas governor promised the state would take the legal battle against the Biden administration to the Supreme Court, if necessary. REUTERS

Migrants caught entering the country illegally would face a class B misdemeanor charge punishable by up to six months in prison. Repeat offenders would face a second-degree felony charge punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

SB 4 allows Texas judges to drop charges against migrants if they agree to be deported.

The new law “encroaches on an area occupied by the federal government and which is pre-empted,” says Boynton.

“Indeed, the Supreme Court confirmed that ‘the removal process’ must be ‘entrusted to the discretion of the federal government,’ because a ‘removal decision’ affects ‘external relations and must be made only voice’.

The Justice Department says the federal government is solely responsible for enforcing immigration laws. REUTERS

The DOJ official also notes that SB 4 could lead to the imprisonment or deportation of migrants with a legitimate asylum claim to countries where they would face “persecution or torture.”

The Biden administration is asking Abbott to confirm he will not enforce the new law by January 3.

Abbott criticized the threat, accusing President Biden of “destroying America,” in a statement. social media post link to a report on the administration’s request.

“Administrator Biden. not only refuses to enforce current US immigration laws, but now they want to prevent Texas from enforcing laws against illegal immigration,” the governor said in an X post. “I have never seen such hostility towards the rule of law in America. Biden is destroying America. Texas is trying to save him.

People arrested multiple times for crossing the border illegally could face a felony charge under the new law. REUTERS

An Abbott spokesperson told the Post that Texas would take the legal battle to enforce SB 4 to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

“Texas is ready to take this fight all the way to the United States Supreme Court to protect Texans and Americans from President Biden’s open border policies,” Abbott Rep. Renae Eze said in a statement.

“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 entries into Texas as the president refuses to enforce federal immigration laws.

The governor has tried to deal with the influx of migrants in Texas by busing the new arrivals to so-called sanctuary cities, including New York and Chicago, and building a floating barrier in the Rio Grande, which the courts have ordered for the governor to delete.




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