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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has extended the pause on a Texas law that permits the arrest of migrants by state law enforcement. This law, referred to as SB 4, was signed by Governor Greg Abbott, enabling local and state officials to detain and potentially deport undocumented migrants.

The extension granted by Justice Alito, who is responsible for emergency appeals from Texas, suggests the court is still considering its decision, which now looms over the contentious legal battle between Republican-led states and the federal government over immigration control. The law in question has sparked significant debate, proposing criminal charges against migrants who resist deportation, with penalties reaching up to 20 years in prison.

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In response to the emergency appeal filed by the Justice Department and supported by El Paso County, Texas, and two immigrant rights groups, Texas argues that federal courts should not handle the cases. The Justice Department argues that the law drastically changes the longstanding relationship between the federal government and the states regarding immigration, a stance Texas challenges as it awaits the Supreme Court’s final decision.

This comes after the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the law to proceed, prompting an urgent appeal from the Justice Department, which argues that the law oversteps federal immigration authority. The pause was extended as the Supreme Court contemplated a request from the Biden administration for a longer block of the law.


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