The U.S. Supreme Court extends until March 18 the halt to the Texas law that allows the expulsion of migrants


The U.S. Supreme Court extended this Tuesday until March 18 the pause in the application of a law in Texas that allows police authorities to detain and expel migrants suspected of illegally entering the United States.

The legislation, known as SB4 and due to take effect next Sunday, is another ingredient in the confrontation of the Texas government with the federal government which, by law, has jurisdiction over migration.

The law, passed last year by the Texas Legislature, is one of the most drastic anti-immigrant measures in American history.

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The initial pause order, issued by Judge Samuel Alito, responded to an emergency request submitted by President Joe Biden's government and gave a deadline until March 13 for the Supreme Court justices to adjudicate this new legal dispute between Texas and the federal government.

Last week a federal magistrate in Texas had already postponed the entry into force of the measure following a lawsuit by several organizations and El Paso County, Texas, alleging that the law is unconstitutional because local authorities do not have jurisdiction to take measures on immigration matters. But the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the magistrate's decision, taking the legal battle to the last instance.

The law makes it a misdemeanor for a foreigner to "enter or attempt to enter the state from a foreign nation" irregularly. The offense becomes a serious crime, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, if the offender is a repeat offender.

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The initiative also allows state justice to order the expulsion of people without due legal process. Likewise, police officers will be able to arrest any individual they suspect has entered the country illegally, and will have the discretionary power to expel him to Mexico instead of arresting him.

Texas Attorney General, Republican Ken Paxton, lamented in a message on X the temporary block, but warned that he will continue to defend the law. For their part, the plaintiffs led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas said in a statement that the law will lead to racial discrimination throughout the state, especially against Latinos.