U.S. Supreme Court allows controversial migration law in Texas

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed a controversial law that gives Texas authorities far-reaching powers on the border with Mexico to come into force for the time being.

The Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, signed the law in December.

After a lengthy legal tug-of-war, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) finally argued before the Supreme Court that Texas was overstepping its authority with the project and obtained a delay.

With Tuesday’s decision, the law can now come into force for the time being, while ongoing lawsuits by the DoJ and several human rights and civil rights organisations make their way through the courts.

The law criminalises irregular migration to the U.S., specifically across the Texas border.

It authorised state police officers to arrest people who are suspected of having illegally crossed the border from Mexico into the U.S.

Texas’ courts were also authorised to order deportations and impose long-term prison sentences for repeated border crossings.

These powers were normally reserved for U.S. federal authorities.

Human and civil rights activists have warned of the danger of discrimination and racial profiling when people are checked by the police.

Neighboring Mexico has categorically rejected any measure that would grant federal or municipal U.S. authorities powers in migration matters.

“Mexico will not accept deportations by the state of Texas under any circumstances,’’ the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The issue of migration has played a particularly important role in the U.S. presidential election campaign, with Republicans accusing U.S. President Joe Biden of having lost control of his country’s southern border.

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Republican presidential challenger Donald Trump repeatedly used extreme formulations and spoke of an invasion of the U.S. by illegal migrants.

Thousands of people fleeing poverty and conflict in their home countries arrive in the U.S. every day.

Authorities are under pressure, and the judicial system can barely keep up with the processing of asylum applications. (dpa/NAN)

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