Civil Rights Groups Urge U.S. Supreme Court to Block ‘Harmful’ TX Anti-Immigrant Law  

By Audrey Sawyer

AUSTIN, TX – Civil rights groups filed an application to the U.S. Supreme Court this past week to vacate an administrative stay from the Fifth Court of Appeals that would have allowed a “harmful anti-immigrant Texas law” to go into effect this weekend.

Last December, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Texas, and Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) filed a lawsuit on behalf of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, American Gateways, and El Paso County, claiming Texas’ S.B. 4 is in violation of the supremacy clause included in the U.S. Constitution and is preempted by federal law.

After the application to the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate the administrative stay was filed, the Supreme Court issued its own stay while the court deliberated. The stay will prevent the law from going into effect until March 13.

The appeal came shortly after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had granted an administrative stay that suspended a lower court decision to block S.B. 4 from going into effect while the case is currently being litigated. The appeals court had stated it would expedite consideration of the appeal and pause the effects of the order for seven days.

The ACLU has described the policy, or Texas Senate Bill 4, as “the most extreme anti-immigration law passed by any state legislature in the country. The bill would permit local and state law enforcement and magistrates to arrest, detain, and remove people they suspect to have entered Texas from another country without federal authorization.”

In a joint statement, groups, including the ACLU, ACLU of Texas, TCRP, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, American Gateways, and El Paso County Commissioners Sergio Coronado and David Stout, said. “Make no mistake that S.B. 4 bypasses federal immigration authority and threatens the integrity of our nation’s constitution and laws. We have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court because this extreme law has no place in our communities.”

The statement continued, “We have long warned that this law will separate families, lead to racial profiling across the state, and harm people across the state as Governor Abbott continues his relentless campaign against people who are immigrants. We urge the Supreme Court to undo the appeals court’s administrative stay and preserve the decision keeping this harmful law from going into effect.”

About The Author

Audrey is a senior at UC San Diego majoring in Political Science (Comparative Politics emphasis). After graduation, Audrey plans on attending graduate school and is considering becoming a public defender.

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