Advertisement

Justice Department threatens to sue Texas over state migrant arrest law

The Justice Department said it will sue Texas over a law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott that allows Texas officials to arrest and deport migrants. File Photo by Sergio Flores/UPI
The Justice Department said it will sue Texas over a law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott that allows Texas officials to arrest and deport migrants. File Photo by Sergio Flores/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 29 (UPI) -- The Justice Department told Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that it will sue the state if it implements a new law that would allow state and local authorities to arrest and deport those they believe are in the country illegally.

The Justice Department's Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton said Texas's new law is unconstitutional and disrupts current operations by the federal government. The letter said it would give Texas until Jan. 3 to say it would not enforce the law or it would move forward and sue the state.

Advertisement

Boynton said in his letter that the Texas law, which goes into effect in March, "effectively creates a separate state immigration scheme by imposing criminal penalties for violations of federal provisions on unlawful entry and reentry into the United States."

He said the law also gives state judges the power to remove alleged noncitizens from the United States, which is a federal function.

Abbott rejected the Justice Department letter and doubled down on the new law.

"The Biden administration not only refuses to enforce current U.S. immigration laws, they now want to stop Texas from enforcing laws against illegal immigration," Abbott said on X. "I've never seen such hostility to the rule of law in America. Biden is destroying America. Texas is trying to save it."

Advertisement

Abbott's spokeswoman Renae Eze added that Texas will be prepared to defend the law before the Supreme Court if necessary.

Abbott has long tried to get national attention to the plight of Texas and other southern border states in handling the record number of migrants crossing the border. He has bussed and flown thousands of migrants to New York City, Chicago and other large cities led by Democrats.

He has also ordered state authorities to use razor wire and other obstacles to fortify Texas' southern border.

Latest Headlines