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U.S. sues Texas after it blocks transport of migrants in state

CoronavirusJul 30, 2021 08:00PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Security stand guard at the headquarters of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly 2/2

By Joseph Ax

(Reuters) -The U.S. Justice Department sued Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday, seeking to block an executive order that restricts the transport of migrants through the state and authorizes state troopers to pull over vehicles suspected of doing so.

In a lawsuit filed in El Paso federal court, the Justice Department said Abbott's order, which he said was aimed at preventing migrants from potentially spreading the coronavirus, illegally infringes upon the federal government's jurisdiction over immigration matters.

The order, which Abbott signed on Wednesday, permits only "law enforcement officials" to provide ground transport for migrants detained for illegally crossing the southern border. It also gives the state's public safety department the authority to stop any vehicle suspected of carrying migrants and send it back to its point of origin.

The order would interfere with the U.S. government's ability to transport migrants between facilities, including unaccompanied children, according to the lawsuit. The government regularly employs contractors and other non-law enforcement personnel to transfer migrants.

Texas has become a battleground on immigration as Republicans and supporters of former President Donald Trump push back against Biden's efforts to relax the restrictionist policies of his predecessor. Republicans want to galvanize opposition to Biden's immigration policies to mobilize voters ahead of the 2022 congressional elections.

The Republican governor said the order was aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, citing a "dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases" among migrants.

There is no clear evidence that migrants are primarily responsible for an increase in coronavirus cases in the state. Texas, where about 44% of residents are fully vaccinated, has seen cases surge by more than 200% in the last two weeks.

The lawsuit made good on a threat https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-attorney-general-garland-tells-texas-rescind-order-limiting-immigrant-travel-2021-07-29 issued on Thursday by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who urged Abbott to rescind the order immediately.

In response to the lawsuit, Abbott said the Biden administration had created a "constitutional crisis" between the federal government and the state of Texas.

"This stems from the Biden administration's refusal to enforce immigration laws and allow illegal immigrants with COVID-19 to enter our country," he said.

 

U.S. sues Texas after it blocks transport of migrants in state
 

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Comments (5)
Hunt Richardson
Hunt Richardson Aug 01, 2021 2:31PM ET
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a no brainer.Look how the Biden administration has handled illegal immigration and not protected the border with record numbers of illegals piling up
Transparent Labs
Transparent Labs Jul 31, 2021 5:19PM ET
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Shut the border. Proper vetting system needs to be put in place 1st. Ship em all out until bill is passed and signed. While we are at it lets get a bill passed to enact term limits.
Hunt Richardson
Hunt Richardson Jul 31, 2021 2:53AM ET
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Governor Abbott knows how to protect his state's citizens
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Jul 30, 2021 11:01PM ET
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Biden administration is purposely keeping the southern border open and make it easy for illegals to vote no ID required
Bill Melton
Bill Melton Jul 30, 2021 9:01PM ET
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From previous Reuters article: While vaccinated people were less likely to become infected, once they contracted such "breakthrough infections" from Delta - unlike the case with earlier variants - they might now be just as likely as the unvaccinated to pass the disease on to others. Yet, Biden appears to be ok with record numbers flooding the southern border, which could cause a severe health crisis. A classic example of hypocrisy and no clue how to deal with southern border or COVID-19. The hypocrisy goes on and on. Stop pipeline in US, but allow pipeline to Germany by Russia. Make it difficult to drill for oil in US, but encourage OPEC to drill so price of gasoline won't go up to upset voters. SMH
 
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