The Biden Department of Justice made good Wednesday on its
threat to sue Texas for attempting to protect American sovereignty amidst an unprecedented flood of illegal aliens over the southern border. The lawsuit comes one day after the Biden administration requested that the Supreme Court allow federal agents to remove some of the Lone Star State’s more effective border defenses.
complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, claims the efforts of the Republican-led state to do what the Biden administration appears unwilling or unable to do as it regards the border “through [Senate Bill 4], intrude on the federal government’s exclusive authority to regulate the entry and removal of noncitizens, frustrate the United States’ immigration operations and proceedings, and interfere with U.S. foreign relations.”
What’s the background?
SB4 was ratified by Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 18 and goes into effect in March 5. It is one of a handful of new tools Republicans furnished Texas with last month to address record-high monthly illegal border crossings.
The over 300,000 illegal aliens who stole into the nation in December not only set an all-time monthly record,
according to CBS News, but possibly pushed the number of reported illegal entries under President Joe Biden’s watch past 7 million.
Should the DOJ’s intervention fail, SB4 will make illegal entry into the Lone Star State a class B misdemeanor as well as allow for foreign nationals who refuse to leave the country to be charged with a second-degree felony, which carries prison time of up to 20 years.
Under the law, illegal aliens found in Texas “at any time” who have previously been convicted of two or more misdemeanors involving drugs, crimes against a person, or both would be charged with a third-degree felony.
Leftist groups like the ACLU,
long supportive of flouting federal immigration law, beat the Biden DOJ to the punch, alleging Texas would be usurping federal authority by enacting SB4.
The Mexican regime also condemned Texas over the legislation,
stating on Nov. 15 that “the Government of Mexico categorically rejects any measure that allows state or local authorities to detain and return Mexican or foreign nationals to Mexican territory.”
The Biden White House joined other leftist outfits and the foreign power in criticizing Texas. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
called SB4 “an extreme law that will not and does not make the communities in Texas safer.”
“And it is incredibly unfortunate. But this is what we see from particular Republicans trying to dehumanize a group of people who are coming here or some of them trying to migrate here,” continued Jean-Pierre. “And — and they’re putting them in harm’s way. They’re putting them in harm’s way.”
The Biden DOJ threatened Abbott in a
Dec. 28 letter that it was planning to “bring a lawsuit to enforce the supremacy of federal law and to enjoining the operation of SB4.” It followed through on Wednesday.
DOJ’s fight to ax law criminalizing illegal immigration
The lawsuit filed Wednesday “on behalf of the United States, including the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State,” claims that “Texas’s SB 4 is preempted by federal law and thus violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. That conclusion is strongly reinforced by the Foreign Commerce Clause.”
While acknowledging that improper entry into the U.S. is already a crime, the DOJ cited the Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling in
Arizona v. United States, stressing “‘the removal process’ must be ‘entrusted to the discretion of the Federal Government,’ in part because a ‘decision on removability . . . touch[es] on foreign relations and must be made with one voice.'”
In addition to warning that SB4 might “undermine U.S. efforts to convince governments worldwide to implement or strengthen their international protection systems and uphold their respective non-refoulement obligations,” the complaint suggested the law would “also impede the federal government’s ability to take appropriate enforcement actions and assess a noncitizen’ national-security and public-safety risks.”
The DOJ requested that the court declare SB4 invalid and permanently enjoin Texas from enforcing the law.
“Texas cannot disregard the United States Constitution and settled Supreme Court precedent,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton
said in a statement. “We have brought this action to ensure that Texas adheres to the framework adopted by Congress and the Constitution for regulation of immigration.”
“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,” said
departing Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “The Justice Department will continue to fulfill its responsibility to uphold the Constitution and enforce federal law.”
Abbott responded Wednesday evening, writing, “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,” added the Republican governor.
Abbott spokeswoman Renae Eze
told CBS News in late December, “Texas is prepared to take this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect Texans and Americans from President Biden’s open border policies.”
“President Biden’s deliberate and dangerous inaction at our southern border has left Texas to fend for itself,” continued Eze. “Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 into law last week to help stop the tidal wave of illegal entry into Texas as the President refuses to enforce federal immigration law.”
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