Appeals court puts controversial Texas immigration law back on hold

Appeals court puts controversial Texas immigration law back on hold - Politics - News

5th Circuit Court of Appeals Halts Enforcement of Texas’ Controversial Immigration Law, SB 4

On an unprecedented night in the realm of immigration law, a three-judge panel at the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier ruling that had put Texas’ Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) into temporary effect. The contentious legislation, which allows state officials to arrest and detain individuals suspected of entering the country illegally, was previously stayed by a different panel within the same court.

The brief order issued late Tuesday evening was 2-1 in favor of wiping away the previous stay and returning the contested bill to its former status quo. One member, Circuit Judge Andrew Oldham, publicly dissented, advocating for letting the law remain in effect until Wednesday’s scheduled oral arguments.

Judicial maneuvers surrounding SB 4 reached new heights when the case was brought before the Supreme Court, which earlier in the day dismissed emergency appeals from the Biden administration and others, paving the way for the controversial legislation to take effect for a limited period.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals then scheduled oral arguments for Wednesday morning, where they would consider Texas’ request to reinstate the law pending its appeal against the federal judge’s block on SB 4.

Regardless of the outcome following Wednesday’s arguments, the court will still convene for a more comprehensive hearing next month to debate the constitutionality of SB 4 and whether it should be indefinitely blocked.

Signed into law by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in December, SB 4 makes entering Texas illegally a state crime and grants state judges the power to order immigrants’ deportation. However, immigration enforcement is generally considered a federal responsibility.

A federal judge in Austin previously blocked the implementation of the law, arguing that it could create a domino effect leading to various states passing their unique versions of immigration laws.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, issued dissents against the Supreme Court’s order that allowed for SB 4’s temporary implementation. Sotomayor voiced concerns over the potential chaos and crisis in immigration enforcement, as well as the disruption of the balance between federal and state powers regarding noncitizen entry and removal.

The case remains poised to revisit the Supreme Court in the near future.

This article has been updated with the most recent developments.