Texas law against illegal immigration on hold again after appeals court decision

Few hours had passed since the Supreme Court's decision approving the measure, a federal appeals court froze the controversial Texas SB4.

Only a few hours have passed since the Supreme Court gave the green light to the Texas law that allows law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants, yet an appeals court has already re-suspended the measure.

It was a long, tense day of legal proceedings. First, the Supreme Court allowed the Texas SB4 to come into force, however, in a 180-degree turn, The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, just before midnight, voted 2-1 to block Texas' bill yet again while the federal appeal is ongoing.

SB4, which makes illegal border crossing a state crime and therefore allows Gov. Greg Abbott's state law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants, has been in the middle of a strong controversy due to the confrontation between Texas and the Biden administration, which argues that states cannot interfere with federal authority over the border.

On Tuesday afternoon, in a surprising twist, the Supreme Court, with a majority of conservative justices, gave the bill the green light with a decision written by Judge Amy Coney Barrett and Judge Brett Kavanaugh, making it clear that the decision was not a ruling on the constitutionality of SB4 and that it was still under review in the appeals court.

The Biden administration and different organizations have also opposed the Texas law, approved by the state legislature last year, arguing that it violates international principles of the treatment of immigrants who, although illegal, can opt for the protection of political asylum, at least temporarily.

Texas' government and voices such as Attorney General Ken Paxton have defended the law, saying that in the face of the biggest border crisis in years and the complete absence of the federal government, the state has the right to take extraordinary measures to protect its safety and integrity.

It is unclear how deportations would work. It is also worth noting that on Tuesday night, the Mexican government, through its Foreign Ministry, issued a statement stating that it would not accept, "under any circumstances, repatriations by the state of Texas."

Oral arguments on the appeals court decision are expected to be heard Wednesday. In parallel, the federal appeal process continues to advance, and arguments regarding the constitutionality of SB4 are scheduled for April 3.