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Former IJs and BIA Members Push Back Against Texas Bill

November 15, 2023 (1 min read)

Statement of Former Immigration Judges and Appellate Immigration Judges regarding H.B. 4/S.B. 4, Nov. 10, 2023

"We are former Immigration Judges with decades of experience as experts in Immigration Law. We were appointed by and served under both Republican and Democratic administrations. Our personal politics may vary, but we dedicated our careers to the equal and fair administration of federal immigration law. The proposed Texas legislation, which would allow a state court magistrate judge to issue a removal order, is not lawful. Immigration is plainly a federal function. State legislators cannot enact immigration laws for the same reasons that the United States Congress cannot enact Texas state legislation. State magistrate judges cannot conduct immigration proceedings for the same reason that federal Immigration Judges cannot adjudicate Texas state criminal cases. As the bill’s sponsors must know this, the point of the exercise is unclear. Furthermore, persons in the United States who entered unlawfully have rights and protections under federal law, including the right to apply for asylum. To the extent that the proposed state “law” conflicts with these rights, it is unconstitutional and in violation of our nation's treaty obligations. The proposed law should offend those who treasure our constitutional protections. It will undoubtedly lead to lawful permanent residents and United States citizens being deprived of their rights as well. And legislators should consider the long-term repercussions of their essentially proclaiming that the Constitution, federal law, and due process can simply be ignored. ... "

[Media coverage here and here.]