United States

Supreme Court Won’t Block Texas Immigration Law

Author: Editors Desk, Jess Bravin and Elizabeth Findell Source: WSJ:
March 19, 2024 at 15:07
Migrants are taken into custody by officials at the U.S.-Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas. PHOTO: ERIC GAY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Migrants are taken into custody by officials at the U.S.-Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas. PHOTO: ERIC GAY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Justices reject Biden administration’s request to prevent Texas from exercising new border enforcement power

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to block Texas from implementing its own criminal law against illegal immigration, rejecting an emergency appeal from the Biden administration which argued that states can’t interfere with federal authority over the border. 

The Texas law, known as SB 4, makes illegal border crossing a state crime and allows state officials to conduct deportations. The measure has been on hold as the Supreme Court weighed the government’s request to halt implementation while litigation over the dispute proceeds in the lower courts. A federal district judge had enjoined the law, but the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans, said the law could go into effect at least for now.

The Supreme Court’s order in favor of Texas isn’t a final decision, but signals the state law may fare better than a similar Arizona statute that a less conservative Supreme Court struck down in 2012. 

Three liberal justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, dissented from Tuesday’s order.

Write to Jess Bravin at Jess.Bravin@wsj.com and Elizabeth Findell at elizabeth.findell@wsj.com

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