Supreme Court Refuses to Block Texas From Arresting Illegal Immigrants

News & Politics

The Supreme Court has acted. Texas is free to deal with illegal migrants in violation of immigration law by arresting them.

The Biden administration failed in its attempt to block a Texas law that allows the state to arrest those suspected of violating U.S. Immigration law. The Biden administration argued that the federal government may enforce or ignore immigration law as it sees fit. It said states like Texas have no say in the matter and no recourse to defend themselves. 


The court majority said no to this overreaching, and some justices were not happy. 

Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, wrote, “Today, the Court invites further chaos and crisis in immigration enforcement.” The court may still reopen the issue as a constitutional matter later, but for now, the Biden administration may not interfere with Texas.

Biden had wanted an administrative stay to halt any action by Texas as a way of shortcutting the process of appeals. 

The Texas migration law makes unauthorized entry into the state, except at a port of entry, a state felony. While such entry is already a federal crime, the Biden administration has turned a blind eye to the law. Texas now has a free hand to defend its state borders.

A federal judge attempted to stay the law’s implementation, but the 5th Circuit overturned that ruling. The Biden administration hoped the Supreme Court would overrule the 5th Circuit. It did not.

The state argued, “Plaintiffs urge the Court to rush straight to the merits of their claims. But these cases do not belong in federal court at all—even apart from the fact that no state court has yet had an opportunity to construe any provision of S.B.4.”

The Supreme Court majority agreed.


“So far as I know, this Court has never reviewed the decision of a court of appeals to enter—or not enter—an administrative stay,” wrote Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh in ruling against the federal government. “I would not get into the business. When entered, an administrative stay is supposed to be a short-lived prelude to the main event: a ruling on the motion for a stay pending appeal. I think it unwise to invite emergency litigation in this Court about whether a court of appeals abused its discretion at this preliminary step.”

Further legal action is expected, but in the meantime, the state of Texas has been given the green light to proceed with enforcing its border.           

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