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Expert: TX Gov. Abbott Set to Make "Political Statement" by Signing SB4

November 18, 2023 (1 min read)

Ava Sasani, The Guardian, Nov. 17, 2023

"Greg Abbott, the Texas governor, is expected to sign two rightwing immigration bills, setting off a likely constitutional battle over a new law that allows state and local police to arrest anyone suspected of crossing the Texas-Mexico border without documentation.  SB4, one of the harshest anti-immigration laws in US history, makes it a state crime to cross into Texas from another country without papers. ... Both anti-immigration laws have been widely criticized by Texas Democrats, but SB4 has also drawn condemnation from bipartisan legal groups and the Mexican government.  A group of more than two dozen former immigration judges signed a statement this week calling SB 4 unconstitutional. The signatories included judges who had been appointed by both Republican and Democratic administrations. ... “Part of the reason for passing this law is to send a message to the Biden administration that Texas is going to go as far as it dares, and they don’t care whether they lose in court, they’re making a political statement,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law professor at Cornell University.  Yale-Loehr said a legal challenge against SB4 would probably succeed, but court battles can take several years. In the meantime, Texas Republicans hope the threat of deportation will discourage migrants from crossing the southern border."