Texas Governor Greg Abbott is taking the Biden Justice Department to task after a federal judge blocked his executive order allowing troopers to stop vehicles suspected of carrying illegal immigrants over fears they could spread COVID-19.
Abbott blasted the temporary order issued by US District Judge Kathleen Cardone of El Paso on Tuesday as “temporary and based on limited evidence.”
“We look forward to providing the Court with the evidence to support the Governor’s Executive Order to protect Texans,” he added.
The judge’s order halts the implementation of Abbott’s executive order that he introduced last week, which allowed for state troopers to stop any vehicle suspected of transporting illegal immigrants.
If the suspicion was confirmed, troopers could then reroute vehicles back to their point of origin or impound them.
Abbott had argued his order would help stop the spread of COVID-19, but the Biden Department of Justice sued last week on the basis that the governor’s order interferes with Federal immigration policy.
“The Biden Administration has knowingly—and willfully—released COVID-19 positive migrants into Texas communities, risking the potential exposure and infection of Texas residents,” Abbott said in a statement following the judge’s order.
“The Governor’s Executive Order attempts to prevent the Biden Administration from spreading COVID-19 into Texas and protect the health and safety of Texans.”
The judge said in her two-page order that the Justice Department was likely to prevail on its claim that the order signed by Abbott violates the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause by both conflicting with federal immigration law and regulating federal operations.
Cardone also found that the order “causes irreparable injury to the United States and to individuals the United States is charged with protecting, jeopardizing the health and safety of non-citizens in federal custody, risking the safety of federal law enforcement personnel and their families, and exacerbating the spread of COVID-19.”
She has scheduled a full hearing for August 13.
It comes as U.S. authorities revealed the number of illegal migrants crossing at the border had reached a 20-year high.
Illegal immigrants were stopped about 210,000 times in July, which was up from 188,829 in June.
Authorities said they likely picked up 19,000 unaccompanied children in July, exceeding the previous high of 18,877 in March.
The June total was 15,253, according to David Shahoulian, assistant secretary for border and immigration policy at the Department of Homeland Security, who singled out the Rio Grande Valley for having the largest numbers.
With Post Wires