ACLU Sues Over New Texas Law Allowing State Authorities To Arrest Migrants For Illegal Entry

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on Tuesday over a Texas law allowing state authorities to arrest migrants for entering the state illegally.

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 on Monday, making illegal entry by a foreign national into Texas a criminal offense. The ACLU argues the law oversteps federal authority, according to a copy of the lawsuit, which includes Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, American Gateways, and the County of El Paso, Texas as plaintiffs. (RELATED: Immigration Courts Add A Whopping One Million Cases To Backlog As Border Crisis Worsens)

“Governor Abbott’s efforts to circumvent the federal immigration system and deny people the right to due process is not only unconstitutional, but also dangerously prone to error, and will disproportionately harm Black and Brown people regardless of their immigration status,” Anand Balakrishnan, senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement regarding the lawsuit. “We’re using every tool at our disposal, including litigation, to stop this egregious law from going into effect.”

German national Khaled el-Masri (R) answers a reporter's question through his interpreter Ulrike Wiesner (2nd-R) as Executive Director American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Anthony D. Romero and ACLU Human Rights Attorney Steven Watt (L) look on during a press conference 29 November, 2006 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images)

(KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images)

Illegal immigration continues to surge at the southern border, including in Texas. Border Patrol agents have seen thousands of migrants cross into Eagle Pass, Texas, in a matter of days this week, leading to the shutdown of a local railway to reassign federal authorities to help process the new arrivals.

“President Biden has repeatedly refused to enforce federal immigration laws already on the books and do his job to secure the border,” Abbott told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “In his absence, Texas has the constitutional authority to secure our border through historic laws like SB 4. Texas will take this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary to protect Texans from President Biden’s dangerous open border policies.”

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include a statement from Gov. Abbott.

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