Home News Supreme Court allows Texas to enforce its own immigration rules

Supreme Court allows Texas to enforce its own immigration rules



Texas will be allowed to enforce its own controversial immigration law following a Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday.

The law, officially designated Senate Bill 4, has been accused of encouraging racial profiling and violating the Constitution.

While the Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union have both sued to stop its enforcement, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Texas could enforce SB 4 as its merits are debated in court.

Conservative justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and John Roberts reportedly spearheaded the decision. Two fellow conservatives, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh, authored a concurring opinion, while liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ketanji Brown Jackson and Elena Kagan dissented.

Senate Bill 4 makes it a misdemeanor crime in Texas to cross the state’s border with Mexico between official ports of entry. It allows police in Texas to question anyone they suspect of illegally crossing the border.

The law functionally permits local authorities to enforce immigration law, which is traditionally the job of the federal government.

The Justice Department responded by suing to block the law, arguing that it violated the Constitution. A federal district judge in Texas agreed with the feds, but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary stay of that decision. The Justice Department quickly appealed to the Supreme Court.

The high court initially agreed with the government and blocked Texas from enforcing the law, but the justices addressed the case Tuesday and allowed the law to temporarily take effect before the Fifth Circuit holds a full hearing scheduled for April 3.

In a social media post, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the decision a “positive development.”

The ACLU, which also sued in defense of immigrants’ rights, promised to continue the fight following the Supreme Court decision.

“SB 4 threatens our most basic civil and human rights as citizens and non-citizens alike and we recommend anyone threatened by this, including people who fear racial profiling, to remember their rights,” ACLU of Texas legal director Adriana Piñon said in a statement. “We will continue our efforts to halt this hateful law.”



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