Borders: Legal Tug of War Over Texas Immigration Law

Can authorities in Texas arrest people who have illegally crossed the border from Mexico? Are you allowed to deport them? A legal drama surrounding these questions is also shaking up the US election campaign.

Judicial crime involving a new immigration law for the US state of Texas: A few hours after the US Supreme Court gave the controversial law the green light, an appeals court put it on ice again for the time being. This was reported by US media.

The law is intended to give Texas authorities broad powers on the border with Mexico that are otherwise reserved for federal authorities. Irregular migration to the USA should be criminalized at the federal level. Critics say the law violates human rights. The Ministry of Justice also speaks out against it.

Specifically, the immigration law is intended to allow Texas police officers to arrest people suspected of illegally crossing the border from Mexico into the United States. Texas courts should therefore also be able to initiate deportations and impose long prison sentences for repeated border crossings.

The issue of migration is shaping the US presidential election campaign

The tug of war in the courts over the new law is increasing the controversy over an issue that is central to the US presidential election campaign: migration. The Republicans accuse US President Joe Biden of having lost control over the protection of the US southern border. Challenger Donald Trump repeatedly uses extreme formulations and speaks, for example, of an “invasion” by the USA.

Thousands of people come to the United States every day to escape poverty and conflict in their home countries. Authorities are under pressure and the justice system can hardly keep up with processing asylum applications. There is also a lack of accommodation and other resources for the newcomers.

Neighboring Mexico categorically rejects any measure that grants federal or municipal US authorities authority over migration issues. “Mexico will not accept deportations through the state of Texas under any circumstances,” the State Department said in a statement.

Supreme Court gives the green light, panel of judges stops project again

The Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, signed the law in December. After lengthy legal back and forth, the US Department of Justice finally argued before the Supreme Court that the southern US state was exceeding its authority with the project – and thus caused a delay.

With a Supreme Court decision on Tuesday, the law came into force in Texas for a few hours. This was a stage victory for the state. According to reports, it is currently unclear whether the first arrests have been made during this time. The White House said, according to US media, that the law would make Texas less safe and cause “chaos and confusion” at the southern border.

Shortly afterwards, the appeals court spoke: With a two-to-three decision, a panel of judges in New Orleans stopped the law again for the time being. The court wants to continue hearing the case this Wednesday morning, US media report. What will happen next for the law is still unclear. Lawsuits from the Department of Justice and several human and civil rights organizations also still have to make their way through the legal authorities.

Warnings of consequences

Human rights and civil rights activists warn against discrimination and racial profiling. This is when people are checked by the police because of their appearance or ethnic characteristics. Abbott rejected this, CNN reported. However, there was criticism: “Today is March 19th, a day that in my opinion will go down in history as a 'Show me your papers day',” said Domingo Garcia, president of the organization Lulac, which advocates advocates for the rights of Latinos in the US, in a CNN report.

Biden is under great pressure on the issue of migration. A CNN poll released in February found that only 30 percent of Americans approved of Biden's performance on the issue and 79 percent of voters called the situation at the U.S. southern border a crisis.