[Fox News] Texas law letting police arrest illegal border crossers blocked by federal judge

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A federal judge has blocked Texas from enforcing a new law that would make illegal immigration a state crime.

U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra  of the Western District of Texas on Thursday granted a preliminary injunction that will block Texas’ Senate Bill 4 from taking effect next week. The law would allow state authorities to arrest and jail illegal immigrants, and would give state judges the power to order deportations. 

In his ruling, the judge wrote that states “may not exercise immigration enforcement power except as authorized by the federal government.”

Texas can appeal the decision.

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The injunction comes in response to a lawsuit by Immigration and civil rights groups against Texas after Gov. Gregg Abbott signed the law in December. 

At the signing ceremony, Abbott said the goal of the legislation was to “stop the tidal wave of illegal entry into Texas.” 

Under the law, a migrant in Texas custody could either agree to a judge’s order to leave the U.S. or be prosecuted on misdemeanor charges of illegal entry. Migrants who don’t comply could face arrest again under more serious felony charges.

The law is a dramatic step by Texas to police immigration, Abbott, a Republican, has repeatedly slammed the Biden administration for not doing enough to address the border crisis. Texas has bused more than 65,000 migrants to cities across America and installed razor wire along the banks of the Rio Grande.

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Opponents have characterized the measure as the most drastic attempt by a state to crack down on immigrants since a 2010 Arizona law — which detractors called the “Show Me Your Papers” bill — was mostly struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thirty former U.S. immigration judges, who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations, signed a letter this month condemning the measure as unconstitutional.

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Ezra, a Reagan appointee who previously served as Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, said the Texas law conflicts with the U.S. Constitution and federal immigration law, “to the detriment of the United States’ foreign relations and treaty obligations.” 

The American Civil Liberties Union, Department of Justice and other groups sued Texas arguing the law is unconstitutional.

“VICTORY: A federal court just BLOCKED Texas’ anti-immigrant law #SB4 from taking effect March 5,” the ACLU said on X after Ezra’s decision came down. 

“This is a win for Texas values, human rights, and the Constitution.” 

Texas officials did not immediately release a statement on the judge’s decision. 

Fox News’ Bill Melugin and Fox News Digital’s Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

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