AUSTIN, TX – The Biden Administration may be gearing up for a legal battle with Texas following the announcement of Republican Governor Greg Abbott of his intention to begin bussing illegal migrants from his state to Washington, D.C., a potential violation of federal laws that he says is necessary in order to protect Texas residents amid the ongoing crisis at the southern border.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, also a Republican, acknowledged that the move to transport detained migrants – who could not be forced, but would have to volunteer to go – to the nation’s capital would run against a 2012 Supreme Court decision that disallows states from creating their own policies on immigration.
However, Paxton cited the growing conservative majority in the Supreme Court as a potential deciding factor if they were to revisit their 2012 ruling, and “dared” the Biden Admin on Saturday to raise a legal challenge to Abbott’s plan to effectively dump the problem of illegal immigration on Biden’s front lawn.
“I think that was wrongly decided,” Paxton said of the ruling in 2012’s Arizona vs. the United States. “So I’d encourage the governor to force people to be sent out of our state and make the federal government sue us [and] take that back to the U.S Supreme Court. I’m daring them to follow federal law. But if they’re not going to, why should the governor not be able to protect his state?”
Abbott had announced last week that he would round up the detained migrants in his state and send them to Washington D.C. via charter buses in response to Biden’s decision to end the Title 42 public health emergency as of May 23, a move that has Republicans – and even a number of Democrats – crying foul amid continued record-breaking numbers of migrant encounters creating hazards for states on the U.S. southern border, Texas especially.
Title 42 is a clause of the 1944 Public Health Services Law that the Trump Administration began using in March 2020 to rapidly expel migrants from the United States during the pandemic due to possible “introduction of communicable diseases.”
However, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki blew off Abbott’s threat, claiming that the Texas Governor is merely thumping his chest to gain publicity because he lacks the legal standing to transport migrants to D.C.
“I think it’s pretty clear that this is a publicity stunt. I know that the governor of Texas, or any state, does not have the legal authority to compel anyone to get on a bus,” she said. “His own office admits that a migrant would need to voluntarily be transported and he can’t compel them to because, again, enforcement of our country’s immigration laws lies with the federal government and not a state.”