Supreme Court Halts Texas Migrant Arrests

( – The US Supreme Court on Monday temporarily paused the new Texas law that grants authority to local law enforcement to arrest foreign nationals who cross illegally into the United States to allow time for the Court to consider the measure, the Associated Press reported.

Justice Samuel Alito’s order places the measure signed into law in December by Republican Governor Greg Abbott on hold at least until next week while the Supreme Court considers the Biden administration’s emergency petition following the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that allowed the law to go into effect on Sunday.

The appellate court ruling came just one day after a US District Court judge temporarily blocked the law from taking effect until the constitutional challenge to the law was settled.

Justice Alito’s order, which delays the implementation of the law at least until March 13, came just hours after the Biden administration petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene.

In its emergency filing, the Justice Department argued that the law interferes with the federal government’s efforts to enforce immigration laws, disregards US asylum law, and could further strain US relations with Mexico, which has denounced the Texas law as “anti-immigrant.”

The Justice Department cited the 2012 Supreme Court decision overturning an Arizona immigration enforcement law that granted police the authority to make arrests for violations of federal immigration law.

In his order, Justice Alito gave Texas until March 11 to respond to the Justice Department’s filing.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office said in a statement on Monday that the Texas law reflected federal law and was enacted “to address the ongoing crisis at the southern border,” which Paxton said has hurt Texas residents “more than anyone else.”

Proponents of the law have argued that law enforcement would not be arresting illegal immigrants who are already living in the United States since there is a two-year statute of limitations on the charge of illegal entry and the law would only be enforced along the border.

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