Supreme Court allows Texas to arrest and detain migrants under new immigration law

Texas Attorney General celebrated verdict as breakthrough against overreach of federal government

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Migrants wait behind razor wire after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States in Eagle Pass, Texas, US, September 28, 2023. —Reuters
Migrants wait behind razor wire after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States in Eagle Pass, Texas, US, September 28, 2023. —Reuters

US Supreme Court has allowed Texas to enact its hard-line immigration law, SB4, granting local and state authorities the authority to apprehend and pursue legal proceedings against such immigrants who enter the US across the Mexican border.

Despite President Joe Biden terming the rule is unconstitutional, this court's verdict signifies a great victory for Texas officials.

In addition to being a shift from the federal oversight of immigration enforcement in which federal officials are traditionally plugged into the process, SB4 grants the Texas authorities the power to perform similar activities with respect to migrants. 

The legislature enactment has experienced legal hindrances with Justice Samuel Alito thrice impeded the execution of the policy previously.

However, the Supreme Court's verdict in favor of SB4 to commence operations concurrently with the lower federal courts' ruling has come to play as well. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton celebrated the verdict as a breakthrough against the overreach of the federal government, seeing him lauded for deploring the violation of the right of the state.

Conversely, the ACLU, whose earlier court battle attacked the legislation, is determined to continue its combat by opposing it until it is declared unconstitutional. 

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, along with Justice Elena Kagan and Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, produced dissenting opinions, criticising the law for its ability to disrupt the federal-state relations and drastically diminish the protections to the migrants.

Under SB4 PEs are able to stop and question individuals suspected of crossing the border, resulting to misdemeanors, imprisonment and hefty fines. The law's hot button articles have given rise to worries as to the problems of shared jurisdiction and caused a strain on the relations with Mexico.