Posted on August 5, 2021

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Governor’s Get-Tough Policy to Block Migrants from Leaving Border

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, August 3, 2021

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against Texas on Tuesday, blocking Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest get-tough border policy aimed at preventing illegal immigrants from dispersing throughout his state.

Judge Kathleen Cardone, a Bush appointee to the bench, said Texas was interfering with the way the federal government wanted to carry out its immigration policy.

The two-page ruling is a victory for President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, giving them a continued free hand in catching and releasing tens of thousands of illegal immigrants each month.

Mr. Abbott had said he feared the migrants were spurring a COVID surge, and he flexed state powers to order troopers to block any non-law enforcement vehicle believed to be carrying migrants away from the border area.

That would have still allowed Border Patrol and ICE employees to shuttle migrants around, but would have hamstrung the network of contractors and nongovernmental organizations on which Homeland Security is relying to get migrants deeper into the U.S., spreading the COVID risk — and the burden to communities — around further.
Judge Cardone’s order lasts 10 days, giving both sides a chance to develop their arguments.

But she said from what she saw right now, the federal government was likely to prevail because its laws trump local decision-making, particularly on immigration policy.


Texas has received the brunt of this year’s unprecedented border surge, which law enforcement officials and the immigrants themselves blame on the more relaxed policies Mr. Biden implemented.

Mr. Abbott complained Tuesday that the president was preparing “draconian” restrictions on Americans over the coronavirus, but is “allowing illegal migrants with COVID to freely enter America.”