ACLU challenges new Texas legislation criminalizing unlawful entry from overseas – JURIST


Civil rights teams filed a lawsuit on Tuesday difficult a lately enacted Texas law, which provides state officers broad powers to arrest, prosecute and deport individuals who illegally cross the US-Mexico border. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed SB4 into legislation on Monday as the newest escalation of confrontations between the state and the federal authorities over unlawful entries.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the lawsuit within the US District Courtroom in Austin, Texas on behalf of Las Americas, the American Gateways advocacy teams, and El Paso County towards the Texas officers who’re alleged to implement SB4 beginning on March 5, 2024.

The ACLU claimed SB4 could result in racial profiling by police and expressed concern about latest revelations regarding links between among the politicians who promoted the invoice and their connections to white supremacist teams. The plaintiff advocacy teams additionally asserted that the brand new legislation will lower the variety of non-citizens their companies can help in looking for asylum and different types of immigration reduction.

Within the lawsuit, El Paso County claimed the present immigrant non-citizen group pays roughly $591.8 million in taxes. The legislation due to this fact could current the county with extreme financial pressure. Moreover, the county might want to account for the enforcement and detention of these affected by the legislation. Throughout testimony earlier than the Texas legislature, defendant  McCraw said that his division estimates there might be roughly 72,000 arrests per yr beneath the brand new legislation.

In assist of the lawsuit, the ACLU referred the court docket to the 2012 case of Arizona v. US the place the court docket struck down the same Arizona legislation as a result of it violated the US Structure’s Supremacy Clause. The Supremacy Clause states that federal legislation preempts state legislation in any space that Congress has expressly or implicitly reserved authority to behave. Since Congress has created a complete system of regulation and enforcement round US immigration via the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the courts have considered state efforts to do the identical violate the Supremacy Clause.

The ACLU argued that Texas’s new legislation doesn’t present for any authorized protection for individuals at the moment looking for asylum, humanitarian safety or another reduction that’s offered for beneath the INA.

Abbott defended the invoice as a solution to “higher shield Texans and Individuals from Biden’s open border insurance policies and cease the tidal wave of unlawful entry into Texans.” On Wednesday, Abbott stated the invoice responds to the federal authorities’s lack of motion, writing, “Texas will defend our sovereign authority and shield our state via historic legal guidelines just like the one I signed this week.”



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