(DailyVantage.com) – A group of civil rights organizations filed a lawsuit in response to a new Texas law that allows the state’s police to arrest illegal immigrants. The law also permits Texas state judges to order the detained immigrants to leave the United States. The lawsuit against the law argues that illegal immigration is under federal jurisdiction and that the new Texas law is an overreach of state authority.
The American Civil Liberties Union, also known as the ACLU, filed the lawsuit with the Texas Civil Rights Project moments after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the new legislation. Abbott signed the new law during a visit to the southern United States border in Brownsville, Texas, and the ACLU filed suit less than a day later. The civil rights organizations filed the lawsuit, representing El Paso County and two groups that provide aid to illegal immigrants, with the goal of the lawsuit being to have the new law deemed unconstitutional.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety and the district attorney of El Paso County, Bill Hicks. When asked about the looming legal action, the Texas Department of Public Safety declined to comment. Hicks’ office also refused to provide a comment to reporters, claiming Hicks is unavailable. Despite the ACLU’s claims of unconstitutionality, Governor Greg Abbott overwhelmingly supports the law. According to Abbot, the new law is a response to President Joe Biden’s failure to address the ongoing surge of illegal immigration.
Abbott also addressed the new law’s potential legal challenges while signing it, claiming it could withstand any lawsuits or claims of unconstitutionality. The lawsuit alleges that the Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steve McGraw, claimed the new law would result in approximately 72,000 arrests a year. The new law enables any officer of Texas law enforcement to arrest someone they suspect of illegally entering the United States. Upon being arrested, the alleged illegal immigrant can either follow a judge’s order to leave the country or face prosecution for unlawful entry.
Civil rights organizations claim the Texas law is the latest attempt by a southern state to prevent immigration, citing a 2010 Arizona bill called the “Show Me Your Papers” bill. The United States Supreme Court ruled against the Arizona law in 2012 and ruled that illegal immigration is under federal jurisdiction. The lawsuit cites the Supreme Court decision as its primary argument against the constitutionality of the new Texas law.
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