As expected, the Biden administration has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop a new border security effort in Texas, calling the law “unconstitutional.”
Passed during the fourth special session last year, Senate Bill 4 creates a new state crime for entering the country illegally, empowering law enforcement to arrest illegal crossers.
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta says the law is “clearly unconstitutional.”
“Under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution and longstanding Supreme Court precedent, states cannot adopt immigration laws that interfere with the framework enacted by Congress. The Justice Department will continue to fulfill its responsibility to uphold the Constitution and enforce federal law,” said Gupta.
Gov. Greg Abbott, meanwhile, has maintained that the effort will uphold scrutiny in the courts.
“The authors of the United States Constitution foresaw a situation when the federal government would be inattentive to states that faced charges at their borders,” Abbott said during the bill’s signing last month. “And in response, they inserted Article One Section 10 to the United States Constitution, to empower states to take action to defend themselves. And that is exactly what Texas is doing.”
After the lawsuit was filed on Wednesday, Abbott said he liked his chances.
Biden sued me today because I signed a law making it illegal for an illegal immigrant to enter or attempt to enter Texas directly from a foreign nation.
I like my chances.
Texas is the only government in America trying to stop illegal immigration. pic.twitter.com/3NsVnkQ8WM
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 4, 2024
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, meanwhile, said he is ready to fight back.
“SB 4 was created to address the endless stream of illegal immigration facilitated by the Biden administration. Millions of unvetted foreign aliens have been released into Texas due to President Biden’s policies of dismantling border security at the US-Mexico border, collaborating with cartels, and inviting violent criminals and drug traffickers to enter the country,” said Paxton.
“Just as I am prepared to fight the lawsuit brought by the extremist ACLU and the nonprofits enriching themselves due to the federal government’s open borders doctrine, I am prepared to fight the Biden Administration whose immigration disaster is leading our country to ruin. Texas has the sovereign right to protect our state.”
The lawsuit brought by the Justice Department is not the only legal hurdle the new law faces. Shortly after it was signed last month, the American Civil Liberties Union filed their own lawsuit.
Pending any court decisions, the law is set to go into effect on March 5.