Judge Blocks TX Guv Abbott’s New Rule Allowing Troopers To Pull Over Cars Carrying Immigrants

TEXAS, USA - APRIL 7: A group of migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador arrives at a bus terminal in the U.S. after crossing the Rio Grande river from Mexico aboard, in Texas, United States on April 7, 202... TEXAS, USA - APRIL 7: A group of migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador arrives at a bus terminal in the U.S. after crossing the Rio Grande river from Mexico aboard, in Texas, United States on April 7, 2021. The number of migrants crossing into the United States in March jumped to highest level in 15 years, with more than 171,000 migrants. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) MORE LESS
|
August 4, 2021 11:24 a.m.

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked an order from Texas’ governor prohibiting anyone except law enforcement from driving undocumented immigrants anywhere, and instructing state police to pull over people they thought were violating the rule. 

The rule, issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last Wednesday, would have allowed Texas state troopers to pull over vehicles that they believed were carrying undocumented people, which critics said would lead to racial profiling and more crowding of border facilities and shelters. 

In a two-page ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone, a George W. Bush appointee, granted the federal government’s request for a temporary restraining order against Abbott’s new rule.

“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,” Cardone wrote.

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

The Department of Justice sued Abbott on Friday, a day after Attorney General Merrick Garland warned that “Texas cannot regulate the operations of private parties performing tasks on behalf of the United States.” 

Non-law-enforcement entities, such as volunteer groups and other non-profits, often help drive undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers to court dates, hotels, or relatives’ homes. The federal government also relies on contractors to transport people arrested at the border between federal detention centers. 

Abbott and lawyers for the state have framed the order as a public health measure, even though Abbott has prohibited mask mandates in the state and Texas is lagging behind the national vaccination average. 

“Some level of inconvenience for potentially COVID-infected illegal aliens is an unavoidable result of protecting public health during a pandemic,” Patrick Sweeten, a lawyer for the state, wrote Monday in response to the federal lawsuit. 

The Justice Department had also requested a preliminary injunction against the order, which Cardone said she would consider in a hearing on Aug. 13.

Latest News
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: