TX Border Security Bill Hearing To Begin

border security
U.S. border wall | Image by Poli Pix Co. LLC/Shutterstock

A hearing will be held Thursday to begin the process of determining whether the Texas border security law that makes unlawful entry into the state a crime is unconstitutional.

Senate Bill 4, which is currently scheduled to go into effect on March 5, also allows state law enforcement officers to apprehend any who are suspected of violating the law.

The hearing is being held in connection with a lawsuit filed by The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Texas, and the Texas Civil Rights Project that alleges Senate Bill 4 is unconstitutional due to violating the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a response to the lawsuit last week, writing that the bill is “not facially preempted because a state law that duplicates federal law does not ‘conflict’ with that federal law.”

“Conflict preemption exists only where it is ‘[impossible]’ to comply with both state and federal law, or where state law ‘stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress,’” added the attorney general, per KERA News.

SB 4 has drawn criticism since being signed into law by Abbott, with Adriana Piñon, legal director of the ACLU of Texas, calling the legislation “one of the most extreme anti-immigrant bills in the country.”

“The bill overrides bedrock constitutional principles and flouts federal immigration law while harming Texans, in particular Brown and Black communities. Time and time again, elected officials in Texas have ignored their constituents and opted for white supremacist rhetoric and mass incarceration instead,” Piñon continued in a statement after filing the lawsuit.

“The state wastes billions of taxpayer dollars on failed border policies and policing that we could spend on education, better infrastructure, and better health care. Texans deserve better and we’re holding Texas politicians accountable to make sure this law never goes into effect.”

Similarly, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) posted on social media and said SB 4 is “a dangerous new law targeting immigrants + everyone who looks like them.”

Despite these objections to the potential law, Abbott has said that he is confident that the court will rule in favor of the state.

“We think that Texas already had the constitutional authority to do this, but we also welcome a Supreme Court decision,” said the governor while signing multiple border security bills, per KERA.

Abbott said during the signing that the bill was necessary due to President Joe Biden’s decision to do “nothing to halt illegal immigration.”

“President Biden’s deliberate inaction has left Texas to fend for itself. Today, I will sign three laws to better protect Texas — and America — from President Biden’s border neglect,” he added.

These claims come as U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reported record-high numbers of yearly and monthly encounters with unlawful migrants at the southern border since Biden took office.

This crisis at the southern border prompted the majority of Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on Tuesday to impeach Department of Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, alleging a failure to perform duties at the border while also lying to Congress about security, as reported by The Dallas Express.

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