EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A federal judge on Thursday issued a court order against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order authorizing state soldiers to stop vehicles suspected of carrying migrants.
District Judge Kathleen Cardone issued the instruction. It first issued a temporary restraining order on Aug. 3, after the U.S. filed a lawsuit, alleging the order impedes enforcement of federal immigration law.
Cardone then wrote that Abbott’s executive order “violates the supremacy clause of the United States Constitution because it conflicts with federal immigration law and is an obstacle to this and directly regulates federal government operations.” “.
Abbott issued the order in late July on the grounds that migrants could spread COVID-19.
It states that “no person, other than a federal, state or local police officer, shall provide ground transportation to a group of migrants who have been detained by CBP for having crossed the border illegally or who have been subject to expulsion under Title 42 order. (Title 42 is a public health order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March 2020 to prevent the cross-border spread of COVID-19.)
The order cited an incident in which a group of migrants who had recently tested positive for coronavirus were supposed to be isolated in a South Texas hotel, but were seen at a Whataburger restaurant in the city of La Joya.
Since early February, the Department of Homeland Security has released certain migrants to non-governmental organizations in the Rio Grande Valley, pending U.S. legal proceedings. One such organization, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, tests coronavirus migrants and relocates them; those to whom the positive test is taken to hotels in the area to isolate them.
Abbott directed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to stop any vehicle suspected of transporting migrants and redirect them to their origin. DPS had also been given the authority to confiscate a vehicle that violates the executive order.
“The dramatic increase in illegal border crossings has also led to a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases among illegal migrants who have entered our state and we need to do more to protect our jeans from this virus and reduce the burden on our communities, ”Abbott said. “This Executive Order will reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure in our communities.”
In his sentencing, Cardone said Abbott’s order “recently to protect public health and that the state of Texas did not present evidence that citizens entering the United States at the border pose a particular risk to to health, so restricting their transportation will improve health and safety.