Enforcement of Texas immigration law SB4 halted by appeals court

Late Tuesday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision that once again prohibits Texas from implementing its stringent immigration law, SB4.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court denied the Biden administration’s request to intervene and maintain a temporary hold on Texas’s rigorous immigration enforcement law, as it undergoes legal challenges in lower courts.

The appeals court made a late-night decision to lift the temporary hold on a lower court order, allowing the law to go into effect while litigation is ongoing.

On Wednesday, the appeals court will listen to arguments in the case to decide whether the law should continue to be suspended until the court makes a ruling on the legality of SB4.

The SB4 law grants local and state law enforcement the authority to apprehend migrants whom they suspect have entered the state unlawfully. Additionally, judges are empowered to require migrants to be taken to a designated port of entry and sent back to Mexico, irrespective of their nationality.


The Biden administration maintains that immigration law falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government, in accordance with the Constitution.

In a recent filing with the U.S. Supreme Court, the administration emphasized that the regulation of noncitizen entry and removal is closely connected to foreign relations and is therefore solely under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. This Court has consistently acknowledged this relationship for a long time.

Texas argues that it has the authority to arrest migrants under the State War Clause of the Constitution. According to this clause, states can take action when there is an actual invasion or imminent danger that cannot be delayed.

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