Biden Administration Files Lawsuit Against Texas’ Anti-Illegal Immigration Law, Escalating Legal Battle

A new lawsuit filed by the Biden administration this week has targeted Texas’ new anti-illegal immigration law, marking the latest in a series of legal challenges against state-led efforts to stop illegal immigration. The Department of Justice filed the lawsuit on Wednesday, challenging the federal government’s authority over the issue. The law signed by Governor Greg Abbott allows state and local law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants. According to the lawsuit, Texas’ efforts through SB 4 intrude on the federal government’s exclusive authority to regulate the entry and removal of noncitizens, interfering with US immigration operations and proceedings.

In response, Governor Abbott criticized the Biden administration, stating that it would prefer to sue Texas for its border security efforts instead of enforcing federal laws that could eliminate the crisis. He affirmed that Texas will not back down. This latest legal battle comes just days after the DOJ requested Supreme Court intervention in a separate dispute with Texas over the construction of razor wire at the border. Texas had initiated the lawsuit after federal officials had cut and destroyed the wire it had set up to prevent illegal crossings.

The DOJ argued that the wire inhibits Border Patrol’s ability to patrol the border and apprehend illegal immigrants. The case prompted the DOJ to file an application with the Supreme Court, seeking its involvement. Furthermore, a legal dispute had also arisen last month regarding Texas’ construction of a floating barrier on the Rio Grande. The DOJ claimed that the barrier violates federal law, poses a safety risk, and hinders the government’s ability to carry out its official duties. The Fifth Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the administration, ordering Texas to take down 1,000 feet of the barrier.

These ongoing legal battles between the Biden administration and Texas echo a similar fight that occurred between the administration and Arizona a year earlier. Arizona had faced a lawsuit over the construction of a makeshift border barrier using shipping containers and razor wire. Ultimately, Arizona backed down and removed the containers. As for Texas, these lawsuits are expected to remain significant in 2024. With over 302,000 migrant encounters in December alone, political pressure has increased on the administration. While the administration aims to expand lawful pathways for migration and increase consequences for illegal entry, it acknowledges the need for funding and immigration reform from Congress. Negotiations for border funding are underway, as Republicans push for greater limits on releases of migrants into the interior.

In summary, the Biden administration has filed a lawsuit against Texas over its new anti-illegal immigration law, challenging the state’s authority on the matter. This legal battle follows previous disputes between the administration and Texas regarding the construction of razor wire and a floating barrier at the border. These lawsuits are expected to remain prominent in 2024 as the administration faces increasing political pressure over the ongoing border crisis. Funding and immigration reform from Congress are also identified as necessary components in addressing the issue.