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US DoJ Files Lawsuit to Block Texas Order Restricting Undocumented Migrant Travel in State

© REUTERS / Ken CedenoU.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announces that the Justice Department will file a lawsuit challenging a Georgia election law, in Washington
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announces that the Justice Department will file a lawsuit challenging a Georgia election law, in Washington - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.07.2021
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Citing a rise in COVID-19 infections, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) issued an Executive Order on Wednesday, directing the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) authority to stop "any vehicle" in suspicion of transporting "migrants who pose a risk of carrying COVID-19 into Texas communities."
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a complaint against the state of Texas and its governor, arguing that the recent COVID-19-related EO subverted the federal government's authority.
"No State may obstruct the Federal Government in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities," read the court document filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, as reported by Reuters. 
US Attorney General Merrick Garland (D), who heads the DoJ, issued a memo to Abbott on Thursday, warning the Texas Governor that he must "immediately rescind" his "dangerous and unlawful" EO, or face the US government as it "intends to pursue all appropriate legal remedies to ensure that Texas does not interfere with the functions of the federal government." 
Garland, who heads the DoJ, argued that Abbott's Wednesday EO violates a number of federal laws and cannot be enforced by the state of Texas against federal officials, or private companies contracted to work with the federal government. 
"The Order would jeopardize the health and safety of noncitizens in federal government custody, federal law enforcement personnel, and their families, and our communities," the US AG wrote.
"Among other harms, the Order would exacerbate and prolong overcrowding in facilities and shelters and obstruct the federal government's arrangements with state, local, and non-governmental partners to ensure that released individuals are transported for appropriate COVID-19 testing to address public health concerns." 
Additionally, federal law requires individuals scheduled for release to first visit US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices, or make an appearance before an immigration court. The exclusion of this from Abbott's EO "interferes with the implementation of federal immigration law." 
The Texas Governor signaled in his response that he would not rescind the EO, arguing that the Biden administration lacks a fundamental understanding of what is "truly happening at the Texas-Mexico border." 
Using the AG's words, Abbott claimed that it is the federal government that is actively "jeopardizing the health and safety of Texans on a daily basis by refusing to follow the law" and use the full authority of Title 42 of the United States Code Section 265, which allows immigration officials to deny entry to undocumented individuals if it is believed "there is a serious danger to the introduction of [a contagious] disease into the United States."  
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