The Biden administration is suing Texas to prevent the state from arresting migrants who flout U.S. immigration law to enter the state illegally, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday.
The DOJ is making good on its threat to sue Texas over enforcing S.B. 4, a new law signed in December 2023 that would permit local and state authorities to arrest and prosecute individuals suspected of entering the U.S. illegally, according to the DOJ and NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth. Texas Illegal immigration has surged to record levels under the Biden administration, with Texas seeing a massive influx of migrants arriving at its border with Mexico.
“The Constitution assigns the federal government the authority to regulate immigration and manage our international borders. Pursuant to this authority, Congress has established a comprehensive framework governing the entry of noncitizens into the United States and the removal of noncitizens from the country,” the DOJ stated in a press release announcing the lawsuit. “Because SB 4 is preempted by federal law and violates the U.S. Constitution, the Justice Department seeks a declaration that SB 4 is invalid and an order preliminarily and permanently enjoining the state from enforcing the law.”
Migrants cross the border illegally just now and are greeted by more than 60 Republican members of Congress pic.twitter.com/Q5sczT629q
— Jennie Taer (@JennieSTaer) January 3, 2024
In 2023 alone, the Biden administration caught and released into the interior more than 824,000 illegal immigrants at the southern border, enough to fill more than 17 Yankee stadiums. Additionally, federal law enforcement personnel intercepted more than 229,000 pounds of drugs, including approximately 22,000 pounds of fentanyl, at the southern border last year.
“President Biden has repeatedly refused to enforce federal immigration laws already on the books and do his job to secure the border,” Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “In his absence, Texas has the constitutional authority to secure our border through historic laws like SB 4. Texas will take this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary to protect Texans from President Biden’s dangerous open border policies.”
As of September 2023, an estimated 3.8 million migrants had entered the U.S. since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, according to the New York Post. In December 2023 alone, federal law enforcement encountered approximately 300,000 migrants at the southern border, making it the highest monthly figure ever recorded, according to Fox News.
“Texas cannot disregard the United States Constitution and settled Supreme Court precedent,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the DOJ’s Civil Division, said of the lawsuit. “We have brought this action to ensure that Texas adheres to the framework adopted by Congress and the Constitution for regulation of immigration.”
Meanwhile, House Republicans are reportedly planning an impeachment hearing for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas — who partially blamed the surge in immigration on climate change earlier Wednesday — for how he has handled the situation at the border, according to Reuters. The White House, which dispatched Vice President Kamala Harris to spearhead an effort to stem the tide of illegal immigration in 2021, has asserted that nobody has done “more” with regard to the border than Biden and that the administration is “stopping the flow” of illegal immigration.
Neither the White House nor the DOJ responded immediately to requests for comment.
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