March 19, 2024

Supreme Court Blocks Texas Immigration Law

A case that most Republicans and conservatives probably thought would be a victory before the Supreme Court has hit a snag.

On Monday, the court ruled to extend a stay put in place to block SB 4, which is the new Texas law on immigration.

That stay will remain in place while the court further reviews the case and arguments.


The new law was signed by Governor Abbott in November, but it has met resistance at every step since he put his name on the bill and signed it into law.

Democrats and immigration advocacy groups challenged the law immediately.

Rep. Castro (D-TX) got the ball rolling, writing a letter to the DOJ to take action.

He wrote, “We urge you to assert your authority over federal immigration and foreign policy and pursue legal action, as appropriate, to stop this unconstitutional and dangerous legislation from going into effect.”

Former immigration judges on both sides of the aisle also opposed the bill, calling it “unconstitutional.”

They also published a statement on the matter, which read, “The proposed Texas legislation, which would allow a state court magistrate judge to issue a removal order, is not lawful. Immigration is plainly a federal function.

“State legislators cannot enact immigration laws for the same reasons that the United States Congress cannot enact Texas state legislation. State magistrate judges cannot conduct immigration proceedings for the same reason that federal Immigration Judges cannot adjudicate Texas state criminal cases.”

I hate to be the bearer of bad news for everyone, but precedent does not look good if and when this case fully goes before the court.

The Supreme Court, historically, has ruled that all immigration matters fall under federal purview, including a similar law in Arizona more than a decade ago, and more recently, United States v. Texas, when Texas and Louisianna challenged immigration rules laid out by DHS Secretary Mayorkas.

This case will also get the attention of Donald Trump because it impacts a campaign promise that he made to his supporters.

Trump wants to sign an EO on this that would give law enforcement nationwide the ability to arrest illegals and force their deportation or prosecution, just as this Texas law is laid out.

Based on precedent, the court has mandated these issues are only allowable by an act of Congress, so that order would immediately be challenged.

It appears that the only way Trump would be able to deliver on that promise would be for the GOP to win back the Senate as well as keep the House, and even then it would be hard to beat the filibuster in the Senate.

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