Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott accused Biden administration of jeopardizing the health and safety of Texans after Attorney General Merrick Garland threatened a lawsuit and urged him to reverse his executive order allowing state troopers to restrict migration at the border, Politico writes.
Garland called Abbott’s order both dangerous and unlawful in a Thursday letter to the governor, saying it violates federal law in numerous respects, and pointing that Texas has no authority to interfere with the federal government’s broad power over the immigration.
Using the executive measure, Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety to stop and reroute vehicles suspected of transportation of migrants who pose a risk of carrying Covid-19 into Texas communities, but Garland claims that Texas cannot lawfully enforce the order against any federal official or private parties working with the US.
The order also prohibits anyone except federal, state and local law enforcement officials from transporting illegal immigrants detained attempting to cross the US-Mexico border.
Garland also expressed concerns that the order would jeopardize the health and safety of noncitizens in US custody and contribute to overcrowding in border facilities, interfering at the same time with implementation of the federal immigration policy.
He threatened Abbott to pursue all appropriate legal remedies to stop his order, adding to the series of clashes with the Texas governor, a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate, who repeatedly berates Biden administration’s border policies and threatened Texas will build a border wall on its own.
Other critics, like League of United Latin American citizens President Domingo Garcia, said Abbott’s order is clear-cut militarization of Texas that invites racial profiling by members of law enforcement and violating the civil rights of people based solely on appearance or suspicion.