Attorney General Merrick Garland threatened legal action against the state of Texas following an executive order by Governor Greg Abbott authorizing law enforcement officials to stop any vehicle suspected of transporting illegal immigrants.
Abbott had issued the order earlier this week following reports that surfaced indicating that COVID-positive illegal immigrants are being released into some Texas communities.
A judge in Hidalgo County, Texas earlier this week demanded the federal government stop releasing “infected migrants.”
Police in La Joya, Texas, had stated that illegal immigrants testing positive for COVID are being released into the community, according to Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin.
“The dramatic rise in unlawful border crossings has also led to a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases among unlawful migrants who have made their way into our state,” Abbott said in announcing his executive order.
“We must do more to protect Texans from this virus and reduce the burden on our communities.”
The order prohibits anyone outside of law enforcement officials from transporting illegal immigrants detained attempting to cross the southern border.
**NEW**: After an incident at a Whataburger, police in La Joya, TX say they’ve learned illegal immigrants who test positive for COVID-19 are being released from federal custody to a local Catholic charity in the RGV which then places them in local hotels without notice. @FoxNewspic.twitter.com/cOx4yR5Wiw
Attorney General Merrick Garland pressured Abbott to rescind the executive order calling it “both dangerous and unlawful.”
“The Order violates federal law in numerous respects, and Texas cannot lawfully enforce the Executive Order against any federal official or private parties working with the United States,” Garland wrote in a letter to the governor.
Biden’s AG went on to suggest the states have no right to interfere with the federal government’s “broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration.”
Garland noted that “the United States will continue its noncitizen transportation operations unabated” and threatened to “pursue all appropriate legal remedies to ensure that Texas does not interfere with the functions of the federal government.”
It’s unclear what Garland is referring to, as Abbott’s executive order specifically states that federal officials are allowed to transport illegal immigrants under the order:
“No person, other than a federal, state, or local law-enforcement official, shall provide ground transportation to a group of migrants who have been detained by CBP for crossing the border illegally or who would have been subject to expulsion under the Title 42 order.”
AG Garland has threatened to sue Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over a recent executive order targeting migrants, saying “Texas has no authority to interfere with the United States’ broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration.”https://t.co/6Xeu7N9oObpic.twitter.com/FGdeBRiy2w
“The current crisis at our southern border, including the overcrowding of immigration facilities and the devastating spread of COVID-19 that the influx of non-citizens is causing, is entirely the creation of the Biden Administration and its failed immigration policies,” Abbott added.
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