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Experts: Texas Immigration Bill "Plainly Unlawful and Plainly Unconstitutional"

November 15, 2023 (1 min read)

Aarón Torres and Alfredo Corchado, The Dallas Morning News, Nov. 14, 2023

"A sweeping border security bill prioritized by Gov. Greg Abbott would allow for Texas to order undocumented migrants to return to Mexico, but experts, including former federal immigration judges, question whether the legislation would be constitutional. ... In a statement, a spokesperson with the Department of Homeland Security said the federal government, not individual states, is charged with determining how and when to remove noncitizens for violating immigration laws.  “State actions that conflict with federal law are invalid under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution,” the statement said. ... “It makes no more sense for a state magistrate trained in state law to engage in the interpretation and application of federal immigration law than it does for a federal immigration judge …trained in federal to engage in an interpretation and application of Texas law,” said Bruce J. Einhorn, a former immigration judge appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.  “It’s hard to comment on something that’s just so plainly unlawful and plainly unconstitutional,” said Rebecca Bowen Jamil, a former federal immigration judge appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2016. “The state court judge doesn’t have the training — doesn’t have the expertise — to protect the constitutional rights of that individual before them.”  Einhorn and Jamil were among dozens of former federal immigration judges who signed a statement saying the proposal violates the law."