U.S. Supreme Court Allows Texas’ ‘Show Me Your Papers’ Law to Proceed, but Hours Later Federal Court Puts Pause on Controversial Measure

By Perla Chavez 

WASHINGTON, DC — This past week, the Biden Administration’s urgent petition to reassess the constitutionality of a Texas law that allowed the state to arrest migrants was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

But, a federal appeals court issued an order that prevents Texas state authorities from detaining and deporting migrants and asylum seekers suspected of entering the U.S. illegally, just hours after the Supreme Court allowed the strict new immigration law to take effect.

The decision Tuesday by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals came weeks after a panel on the same court allowed Texas to enforce the controversial law.

The state’s latest immigration legislation has been contested by multiple groups such as the Department of Justice and civil rights organizations American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project.</p>

The UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía responded with a statement condemning the decision and claiming its unconstitutionality.

The statement charged this law sanctions state and local police to arrest and charge people under the suspicion of crossing the southern border without permission.

Similar to Arizona’s infamous SB 1070 legislation, this would allow Texas’ state and local law enforcement to racially profile and disturb people of color, UnidosUS declares.

Murguía said the dissent to defer these matters to the lower court will ultimately “upend the longstanding federal-state balance of power and sow chaos” as stated by Justice Sonia Sotomayor and two other justices.

Not only does this affect Latinos who make up more than 40 percent of the state’s population, but also businesses and communities throughout Texas, added Murguia.

Moreover, officers are not equipped or trained to enforce immigration legislation and this could jeopardize their ability to carry out the duties of their positions, added Murguía, noting, “State and local law enforcement leaders themselves are concerned that enforcing immigration laws will put an additional burden on their officers.”

UnidosUS said it will continue advocating against SB 1070 and SB 4 when the courts are called upon to reassess their decision, noting again that only the federal government should have the ability to enforce immigration statutes.

Murguía declares, “Anything less will subject Latinos and their families to discrimination at the hands of Texas law enforcement and upend Texas’ economy and society.”

About The Author

Perla Chavez is a first-generation college student that has obtained a paralegal certificate from the UCLA Extension Paralegal Program. Her academic journey includes a major in Political Science with a focus on race, ethnicity, and politics at UCLA. Perla has actively contributed to social justice advocacy through internships with CHIRLA and the NAACP. Driven by her passion to recognize inequalities and advocate for the rights of others, Perla aspires to become an immigration lawyer. Apart from her dedication to academics and the legal field, she finds fulfillment in being a volunteer for the city of California City, spending quality time with family, and expressing creativity through painting.

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