Fox News Host Grills Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Controversial State Law Defying Supreme Court Precedent

AUSTIN, Texas — Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott was confronted by Fox News host Shannon Bream on Sunday regarding a new state law that may challenge a precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Abbott has been taking action to address border security as his state sees an influx of illegal migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. According to agency data, there were 3.2 million encounters with the U.S. Border Patrol in the 2023 fiscal year, which concluded in September. In an effort to deter migrants from entering Texas, Abbott has implemented measures such as using razor wire and circular saw floating barriers. However, the U.S. government has opposed his efforts, claiming that he is violating federal law.

Last month, Abbott signed a new law that permits state and local law enforcement to arrest migrants who unlawfully cross the border. The Department of Justice (DOJ) subsequently filed a lawsuit against Texas and Abbott, arguing that the new statute violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which establishes federal law as superior to state law.

During an interview on Fox News Sunday, Bream asked Abbott about the rationale behind overturning the Supreme Court precedent with this law. Bream mentioned a 2012 Supreme Court case, Arizona v. United States, in which the Court invalidated certain parts of an Arizona immigration law intended to deter illegal crossings. Justice Anthony Kennedy stated in the majority opinion that while Arizona may have valid concerns about illegal immigration, it cannot enact policies that undermine federal law. The DOJ’s lawsuit referenced this precedent.

Abbott defended the Texas law, stating that it was crafted to ensure its constitutionality. He argued that unlike the Arizona law, the Texas law does not conflict with federal law, thus avoiding the allegation of preemption by the federal government. Abbott also accused the federal government of neglecting its responsibility to enforce immigration laws passed by Congress and asserted that the new Texas law simply enforces the existing laws.

Bream challenged Abbott, contending that Texas’s actions encroach on the federal government’s authority in determining who to deport and how to handle immigration. Abbott countered by explaining that the federal government’s reliance on field preemption, which assumes that the federal government would enforce the laws passed by Congress, is misplaced since the federal government is not fulfilling its duty. He argued that Texas is therefore justified in enacting a law that enforces the same federal laws.

It is apparent that Republicans in Congress are pushing for stricter immigration laws to address the surge of illegal migrants at the southern border. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden acknowledges the complexity of fixing the immigration system and blames Republicans for failing to collaborate on a comprehensive plan. Biden sent Congress a proposed legislation on his first day in office, but it has not been considered. He also requested additional funding for border security and personnel, but his requests were rejected by congressional Republicans.

In conclusion, Governor Greg Abbott is facing scrutiny over a new Texas law that permits the arrest of migrants who illegally cross the border. The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit, arguing that the law violates federal law. Abbott maintains that the law is constitutional and does not conflict with federal law. The debate highlights ongoing tensions between states and the federal government over immigration policy.