Biden administration sues Texas over Gov. Abbott order restricting migrant transport

Biden administration sues Texas over Gov. Abbott order restricting migrant transport

Isabel Webb Carey
Isabel Webb Carey
August 2, 2021

In response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order issued Wednesday that allows state’s Department of Public Safety troopers to stop civilian vehicles “upon reasonable suspicion” of carrying illegal immigrants, the Biden administration sued Texas Friday.

The lawsuit follows a letter sent by the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, which warned that the order was both “dangerous” and “contrary to federal law.” It also included the threat of legal action against Texas if Abbott refused to rescind his order.

The government’s legal filing argued that the order would obstruct federal immigration operations, including networks of contractors and non-government organizations that help manage recently-arrived migrants as their legal cases are pending. It further contends that confinement to immigration facilities would place further strain on already-overwhelmed border resources. 

“In our constitutional system, a State has no right to regulate the federal government’s operations,” the Department of Justice argued in a motion asking the judge to block Abbott’s order, adding “this restriction on the transportation of noncitizens would severely disrupt federal immigration operations.”

take our poll - story continues below

Is Biden's Vaccine Mandate Unconstitutional?

  • Is Biden's Vaccine Mandate Unconstitutional?  

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to Texas Politics updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

In response to the lawsuit, Abbott claimed in a statement Friday that the Biden administration “has created a constitutional crisis between the federal government and the State of Texas” by “knowingly import[ing] COVID-19 into Texas from across the border—willfully exposing Texans and Americans alike.” The governor, however, continues to ban local government officials from take public safety measures in response to rising cases across the state.

The governor went on to proclaim that his “duty remains to the people of Texas,” and that he has “no intention of abdicating that.” The Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also responded to the lawsuit in a statement in which he described Abbott’s order as “perfectly legal.”

Subscribe to the newsletter everyone in Texas is reading.

Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey attends the University of Texas at Austin in the Plan II Honors Program with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. Her interests include education, local governance, sustainability, and equity. Isabel enjoys dancing, hiking, and live music. She is also a staff writer for the Texas Orator. Email her at [email protected]
Our Privacy Policy has been updated to support the latest regulations.Click to learn more.×