Texas immigration law postponed by US Supreme Court

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A bill known as Senate Bill 4, which would grant authorities in Texas the power to arrest and expel migrants and refugees who enter the country illegally, has been temporarily blocked by a United States Supreme Court judge. Justice Samuel Alito issued an order on Monday putting the new Texas law on hold until at least next week when the court will further examine the bill.

Opponents of the legislation have criticized it as a dramatic attempt by a state to police immigration, similar to an Arizona law from over a decade ago. Under the law, state officials would have broad powers to arrest, prosecute, and order the removal of individuals who illegally cross the border from Mexico.

The law, signed by Governor Greg Abbott in December, was set to take effect on Saturday but is now delayed until March 13. The Department of Justice requested the Supreme Court to intervene, arguing that the law bypasses federal immigration authority and threatens the nation’s constitution and laws.

The federal government has raised concerns about the adverse effects the law could have on the relationship with Mexico and the enforcement of federal immigration laws in Texas. The Supreme Court has given Texas until March 11 to respond to the emergency request.

The battle over the Texas immigration law is part of multiple legal disputes between Texas officials and the Biden administration regarding border patrol and illegal crossings. Republican governors have supported Abbott’s efforts, claiming that the federal government is not doing enough to enforce immigration laws.

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