The Biden administration is not just refusing to enforce immigration law, it is now threatening to sue states that enforce their own immigration laws.
On Thursday, the Biden administration warned Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that legal action would be taken if the state enforced a new legislation that authorizes officials to arrest, detain, prosecute, and deport illegal immigrants.
In a letter to Abbott, a Justice Department official stated that the bill was illegal and “contrary to the US commitment of ensuring the processing of noncitizens consistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
SB4, or Senate Bill 4, is part of the state’s Operation Lone Star. It takes effect on March 5.
“SB 4 is preempted and violates the United States Constitution. Accordingly, the United States intends to file suit to enjoin the enforcement of SB 4 unless Texas agrees to refrain from enforcing the law,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton writes in the memo, obtained by CBS News.
SB 4, which Abbott signed into law on December 18, makes unlawfully entering the United States from Mexico a state felony and allows police to detain those suspected of crossing the Rio Grande between ports of entry.
Migrants found unlawfully entering the nation would be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in prison. Repeat offenders would face a second-degree felony charge that could result in up to 20 years in jail.
SB 4 authorizes Texas courts to dismiss charges against migrants who agree to be deported.
The new state law “intrudes into a field that is occupied by the federal government and is preempted,” Boynton argues.
“Indeed, the Supreme Court has confirmed that ‘the removal process’ must be ‘entrusted to the discretion of the Federal Government’ because a ‘decision on removability’ touches ‘on foreign relations and must be made with one voice.’”
According to the DOJ official, SB 4 may result in migrants with genuine asylum claims being imprisoned or deported to countries where they suffer “persecution or torture.”
The Biden administration has requested that Abbott affirm that he would not execute the new legislation by January 3.
Abbott lambasted the ultimatum, accusing President Biden of “destroying America,” in a social media post that linked to an article on the administration’s demand.
The Biden Admin. not only refuses to enforce current U.S. immigration laws, they now want to stop Texas from enforcing laws against illegal immigration.
I’ve never seen such hostility to the rule of law in America.
Biden is destroying America.
Texas is trying to save it. https://t.co/CrvkBaiH8E
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) December 28, 2023
“The Biden Admin. not only refuses to enforce current U.S. immigration laws, they now want to stop Texas from enforcing laws against illegal immigration,” the governor said in an X post. “I’ve never seen such hostility to the rule of law in America. Biden is destroying America. Texas is trying to save it.”
According to Abbott’s spokesperson, Texas will pursue the legal struggle over executing SB 4 all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
“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,” Abbott rep Renae Eze said in a statement.
“President Biden’s deliberate and dangerous inaction at our southern border has left Texas to fend for itself. 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 laws.”
The governor has sought to stem the influx of unlawful migrants into Texas by busing them to so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ such as New York and Chicago, as well as by building a floating barrier in the Rio Grande, which judges have ordered him to dismantle.
The mayors of New York City, Chicago and Denver recently asked the Biden administration Wednesday for more assistance in helping address the migrant crisis in their cities.