Texas immigration law returns to federal court after whiplash ruling

A push by Republican-led states to take a direct role in immigration enforcement, a historically federal matter, came before an appeals court Wednesday morning, a day after the Supreme Court briefly allowed Texas to begin arresting and arresting people under a controversial new law. Deport immigrants.

Wednesday’s hearing came after a day of legal whiplash in federal court. Texas law known as SB 4.Late Tuesday, a panel of judges from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced earlier Wednesday that the law remains frozen. Prevent state enforcement.

Texas attorneys defend the law, saying President BidenThe FBI director and other officials acknowledge there is a crisis at the border. Lawyers say Texas, as a sovereign state, has the right to arrest people who enter the state illegally. Officials will not deport them directly but will turn immigrants over to federal officials.

“There is a real crisis going on here,” Texas Deputy Attorney General Aaron Nelson said during a court hearing in New Orleans. “Texas has decided that we are at the center of this crisis. We are on the front lines and we are going to do something about it.”

The bill’s fate is another flashpoint in the polarizing debate over immigration in the United States, with Republican candidates and former President Donald Trump has become a central theme of his campaign against Biden. Regardless of what the 5th Circuit decides, the law’s status may ultimately make its way back to the Supreme Court.

The high court’s order Tuesday afternoon triggered a swift round of legal action in lower courts, throwing the law’s status into limbo.

Hours after the Supreme Court urged the 5th Circuit to quickly decide whether the law remains in effect while litigation continues, the three-judge panel said it would hold a Zoom hearing Wednesday morning.

Then, in a highly unusual move, just after 11 p.m. Tuesday, two 5th Circuit judges blocked enforcement of the law ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.

The brief order did not explain the reasoning of the two justices, George W. Bush nominee Priscilla Richman and Biden nominee Irma Carrillo Ramirez. The dissenting judge — Trump nominee Andrew Oldham — said only that he would allow the law to remain in effect until Wednesday’s hearing.

“It’s ping pong,” Efrén C. Olivares, director of strategic litigation and advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said in a phone interview, describing the back-and-forth ruling.

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Olivarez said it was unclear whether the three-judge panel would rule immediately because a lower court preliminary injunction remains in effect and state law has not yet taken effect. He said Texas could ask the full circuit to review the panel’s decision to temporarily block the law, but noted that would be uncommon.

The law makes it a state crime to cross the border illegally and gives Texas officials the ability to deport immigrants to Mexico on their own.

How they will do this remains unclear. The Mexican government said on Tuesday it would not accept anyone deported from Texas, denouncing the law as “encouraging family separations, discrimination and racial profiling and violating the human rights of immigrant communities.”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Wednesday called the Texas law draconian.

“It does not respect human rights, it is a completely inhumane law, it is anti-Christian, it is unjust, it violates the precepts and norms of human coexistence,” Lopez Obrador said. “This not only violates international law, [the teachings of] Bible. I say this because the people who take these unjust, inhumane measures go to church and they forget that the Bible talks about being kind to foreigners and of course loving your neighbor. ”

The Texas law passed last year as part of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s push to expand the state’s role in immigration enforcement – historically the purview of the federal government and its jurisdiction over international borders.

supreme court Decide It drew dissent from three liberal justices, two of whom said the majority was inviting “further chaos and crisis in immigration enforcement.”

“This law would disrupt sensitive diplomatic relations, hinder the protection of individuals fleeing persecution, impede aggressive federal law enforcement efforts, and undermine the ability of federal agencies to detect and monitor imminent security threats,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote. ability, and to prevent noncitizens from reporting abuse or trafficking.” , joined by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Tuesday’s brief, wavering implementation of the law appeared to illustrate dissenting judges’ concerns about legal chaos. Texas Republicans celebrated the Supreme Court’s ruling on social media on Tuesday and said SB 4 was in full effect, only to be halted again hours later.

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Texas law imposes state criminal penalties of up to six months in prison for immigrants who enter illegally from Mexico. People who illegally re-enter after being deported can face felony charges and 10 to 20 years in prison. Texas lawmakers also authorized state judges to order deportations to Mexico and allowed local law enforcement officers to enforce those orders. A judge may drop state charges if the immigrant agrees to voluntarily return to Mexico.

The debate over Texas law is The latest legal clash between the Biden administration and Republican leaders The role of states in immigration enforcement has been highlighted by Republicans as a key issue in the 2024 presidential campaign.

The Supreme Court ruled in a split decision in January that the Biden administration could eliminate Texas has installed razor wire along the Mexican border until a court determines whether it is legal for the state to install its own barrier.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Luis Miranda said federal immigration agencies have no authority to assist Texas in enforcing state law. He said the only deportations U.S. agents are allowed to conduct must involve federal orders.

“Immigration is the exclusive purview of the federal government,” Miranda said in a statement.

U.S. District Court Judge David Ezra temporarily blocked the Texas law last month, saying it could be unconstitutional and “could open the door for each state to pass its own version of immigration law.” Ezra said the law has an impact on federal matters even more than what the Supreme Court has deemed Arizona’s immigration laws to be. Partially defeated in 2012.

But the Fifth Circuit quickly froze Ezra’s decision without explanation and said Texas law could change. Unless the Supreme Court steps in, it will be enforced, at least temporarily.

The Biden administration, El Paso County and immigrant advocacy groups all filed lawsuits to block the law, then Ask the Supreme Court It was stayed while the proceedings continued.

Ann E. Marimow and Arelis R. Hernández contributed to this report.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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