SCOTUS stays Texas law that allows police to arrest, detain illegal migrants

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The Supreme Court issued a stay against the Texas law that expands police officers’ powers to detain migrants, temporarily halting enforcement. 

The order, which was decided on Monday, was signed by Associate Justice Samuel Alito. The stay prevents the Texas law, which is called SB 4, from going into effect until 5 p.m. on Mar. 12, at the earliest.

The move from the Supreme Court came after the Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the court to temporarily block enforcement of the state law. The agency had filed an emergency appeal.

SB 4 gives Texas authorities the ability to arrest anyone they believe has crossed into the U.S. illegally. It was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in December.

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The Supreme Court has issued a stay regarding the Texas law that expands police officers’ powers to detain migrants. (Getty Images)

Last week, Abbott said that he will refuse to “back down in our fight to protect our state” after a federal judge had temporarily blocked the law through a preliminary injunction.

Back in February, over 40 politicians endorsed an amicus brief that supported the law. 

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Eagle Pass border crossers

Asylum seekers cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into the United States on September 30, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital that the intention of the law is to “stop the chaos, secure the border, and protect Texans.”

“It is clear to any honest and objective person living in this country that President Biden has willfully disregarded the laws of the land, abdicated his constitutional duty to provide for a common defense, and unilaterally surrendered control of our border to terrorist drug cartels,” Arrington said.

Migrants southern border

Migrants attempting to cross the North American side of the border between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in Texas, United States on March 3, 2024. (Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The State of Texas has until Mar. 11 to file a response to the DOJ appeal for emergency action.

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Fox News Digital reached out to Abbott for comment.

Fox News Digital’s Michael Lee, Louis Casiano and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

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