Federal judge in El Paso grants pause to Texas order restricting migrant transportation


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A federal judge in El Paso has granted the temporary pause of a state executive order allowing the Texas Department of Public Safety to conduct traffic stops over vehicles suspected of transporting undocumented migrants.

Federal Judge Kathleen Cardone granted a restraining order temporarily pausing Texas approaches to curtail the transportation of undocumented migrants throughout the state.

The U.S. Justice Department argues the policy could lead to a violation of civil rights based on profiling and have battled the state over Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order.

“The United States is likely to prevail on its claims that Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order No. G-37 relating to the transportation of migrants during the COVID-19 disaster,” Judge Cardone wrote in the temporary restraining order.

Cardone wrote Abbott’s executive order “violates the supremacy clause of the United States Constitution because it conflicts with, and poses an obstacle to, federal immigration law, and it directly regulates the federal government’s operations.”

The U.S. Justice Department sued the state of Texas over Abbott’s executive order in July shortly after it was issued.

On Friday, Abbott claimed the state and federal government faced a “constitutional crisis” and that the executive order limits the spread of COVID-19 by restricting anyone other than an officer from moving migrants. Abbott’s order was issued on the grounds that it helps stop the spread of COVID-19.

Under the order, a troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety could impound any vehicle suspected of transporting undocumented migrants.

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