(USNewsMag.com) – Texas Republican lawmakers are pushing back against the federal government’s latest legal action against their state, urging the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to forgo the lawsuit. They maintain the Biden administration is responsible for the immigration crisis and has “failed Texans and the American people” with “open-border policies.”
On Wednesday, Jan. 24, over a dozen Republican members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland calling out the Biden administration’s failure to secure the US-Mexico border while also targeting anyone who takes matters into their own hands. The congressional delegation of Texas Republicans led by Reps. Roger Williams and Michael McCaul wrote the letter out of “great concern” about the federal government’s legal challenges to Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB4).
SB4 passed on Nov. 21, 2023, and grants state law enforcement the “authority to arrest” illegal border crossers. After Gov. Greg Abbott signed the law at the end of the year, the DOJ filed its lawsuit in a federal court in Austin and challenged the legislation, which they claim violates their own authority over the border and immigration. Aside from the federal government, Democrat-run cities like Chicago and New York have also pushed back on Abbott for sending busloads of immigrants out of Texas and into their “sanctuary cities.”
In their letter to Garland, the GOP lawmakers cited a passage in the federal government’s lawsuit in which they note that the Constitution gives them “the authority to regulate immigration” and manage “international borders.” They claim this actually justified Texas’ efforts to secure the border because the Biden administration has “repeatedly refused” to stop the flow of illegal immigration themselves, forcing the state to take matters into its own hands.
The House Republicans also noted data from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) showing that at least 6.7 million illegal immigrants have crossed the southern border since President Joe Biden took office, and 1.7 million more were “got-aways” who evaded Border Patrol. This situation has taken an especially large toll on Texas citizens and prompted the governor “to take action” where the administration has failed to. They also claim Abbott’s new law is in line with federal immigration law, which has already criminalized illegal entry into the US.
The lawmakers concluded their letter by urging the DOJ to “reconsider” their lawsuit and “allow the state of Texas” to take necessary action to secure its own residents’ safety.
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