(RightWing.org) – The Justice Department is suing Texas over the state’s efforts to cut illegal immigration. Since President Biden took office, southern states have become increasingly frustrated at the administration’s refusal to take border security seriously.
Last month Texas passed a new law that would let state authorities deal with illegal immigrants without relying on unenforced federal laws. The DOJ immediately threatened to file a lawsuit if Texas didn’t drop the law — and now it’s carrying out that threat.
On December 18, 2023, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed Senate Bill 4, which makes it an offense under state law to enter the US illegally and gives Texas judges the power to deport illegals. It’s due to come into force in March, but the law is already facing multiple legal challenges from Liberals. The White House was also quick to oppose it, with spokesman Angelo Fernández Hernández calling it “an extreme law” and denying that states have a right to remove illegal migrants.
Legally, immigration is a federal responsibility. Texas introduced SB4 because, in its opinion, the Biden administration has made little effort to control the southern border. But the federal government isn’t willing to share responsibility, even if it isn’t actually doing the job. That led the DOJ to issue its December 28 threat to sue Texas if the state made moves to enforce the new law.
On January 3, the DOJ did exactly that. Announcing the lawsuit, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta called SB4 “clearly unconstitutional” and argued that states “cannot adopt immigration laws that interfere with the framework enacted by Congress.”
However, Texas Republicans say they need the law because illegal immigration is running at record levels and the Biden administration isn’t doing much — if anything — to bring it back under control. Under the Constitution, the states give up certain powers in return for the federal government exercising those powers more effectively. Texas thinks it isn’t living up to its end of that bargain, leaving the state no choice but to do it itself.
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