A federal judge in El Paso blocked a Texas executive order that restricts migrant transport on Aug. 3.
Kathleen Cardone issued a temporary restraining order on GOP Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest plan to minimize COVID-19 infections. The governor wanted the Texas Department of Public Safety to check vehicles and reroute them, if migrants are found to “pose a risk of carrying COVID-19 into Texas communities.”
However, the U.S. District Court judge ruled the governor’s July 28 executive order violates the U.S. Constitution. Cardone agreed with the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) claim that such a disease prevention measure would hinder federal migrant transport operations.
“The executive order causes irreparable injury to the United States, and to individuals the United States is charged with protecting, jeopardizing the health and safety of non-citizens in federal custody, risking the safety of federal law enforcement personnel and their families, and exacerbating the spread of COVID-19,” she said in the restraining order.
Attorney General Merrick Garland (D) previously criticized the executive order for overstepping its authority. He cited a supremacy clause in the Constitution that prevents jurisdictions from interfering with nonprofits and private enterprises that provide ground transport services to migrants. Such a prohibition could force federal, state, and local law-enforcement officials to do the work themselves.
However, the governor’s attorneys argued Texas has a right to make executive orders to help contain the COVID emergency.
The restraining order will be valid until at least Aug. 13. This will give the judge a chance to seek a “fuller presentation of the facts and law.” There is potential for a further extension beyond this date, following a hearing between attorneys from both parties.
Abbott strongly criticizes Garland and the DOJ for letting illegal aliens infect Texans with the deadly disease.
“The Biden administration has knowingly–and willfully–released COVID-19 positive migrants into Texas communities, risking the potential exposure and infection of Texas residents,” he said in a statement. “The governor’s executive order attempts to prevent the Biden administration from spreading COVID-19 into Texas, and protect the health and safety of Texans.”
President Joe Biden revealed he treats minors differently to adults when it comes to allowing record numbers of untested and unvaccinated migrants to cross the southern border into U.S. cities.
“We have not withdrawn the order that is sometimes criticized, saying that unvaccinated people should go back across the border,” he said in a statement. “But unaccompanied children is a different story because that is the most humane thing to do, to test them, and to treat them–and not send them back alone.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently extended a Trump-era policy called Title 42, which stops migrants from entering the United States unless they are unaccompanied minors–or belong to certain vulnerable families.
“A temporary suspension is necessary to protect the public health,” a representative said in a statement.
The policy will remain in place for two months. CDC will review whether Title 42 should be further extended once this period has lapsed.