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Federal Appeals Court Says Texas Law Allowing Police To Arrest Illegal Migrants Can Take Effect

A federal appeals court reversed on Saturday a lower court’s freeze on a Texas law enabling local police to arrest illegal migrants.

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge David Alan Ezra blocked Texas’ SB 4 from taking effect while the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Texas proceeds. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay over the weekend, which would allow the law to take effect on March 9 if the Supreme Court does not intervene.

“Texas has the constitutional right to defend itself because of President Biden’s ongoing failure to fulfill his duty,” Republican Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott said last week. “We will not back down in our fight to protect Texas. This case will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Ezra, a Reagan appointee, ruled last week that the state’s law “threatens the fundamental notion that the United States must regulate immigration with one voice.”

“If allowed to proceed, SB 4 could open the door to each state passing its own version of immigration laws,” he wrote. “The effect would moot the uniform regulation of immigration throughout the country and force the federal government to navigate a patchwork of inconsistent regulations.”

The DOJ sued Texas over its law in January. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed it into law in December in response to record levels of illegal crossings.

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