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Gov. Abbott Responds to Judge Who Blocked Order to Stop Transport of Immigrants

Greg Abbott, El American

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott responded Tuesday after a federal judge blocked an executive order asking state troopers to stop drivers suspected of transporting illegal immigrants in hopes of stemming the spread of COVID-19.

“The recent court order is temporary and based on limited evidence,” the statement said. “We look forward to providing the court with the evidence to support the governor’s executive order to protect Texans.”

“The Biden administration has knowingly and deliberately released COVID-19 positive migrants into Texas communities,” the text continued, ““risking potential exposure and infection for Texas residents. The Governor’s executive order attempts to prevent the Biden administration from spreading COVID-19 in Texas and protect the health and safety of Texans,” it concluded.

Federal Judge Kathleen Cardone put a temporary halt to Abbott’s executive order preventing the transport of migrants, considering them spreaders of COVID-19. The injunction will last until August 13.

On July 28, the Republican governor, who will seek reelection in 2022, issued an executive order restricting the transport of undocumented immigrants, considering them a risk in the transmission of the virus.

This executive order also directs the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to stop any vehicle that is suspicious and to redirect it to its point of origin. It also allows the DPS to impound vehicles in violation of the order.

The Justice Department’s lawsuit was filed July 30 in district court in El Paso and argues that Abbott’s executive order violates the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause which details that federal laws take precedence over state laws.

It further argues that the state order causes harm to people the United States is charged with protecting and “endangers the health and safety of non-citizens in federal custody, jeopardizing the safety of federal agents and their families, and exacerbating the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”

In this regard, U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland said on July 29 that the Texas governor’s order is “dangerous and illegal”.

Garland asked Abbott to withdraw the order immediately, but the governor responded with a letter in which he said the Biden Administration does not understand the border situation, and assured that the lawsuit will create a constitutional crisis between the Democratic administration and the state of Texas.

Texas Governor: “My duty remains to the people of Texas”

“This is due to the Biden Administration’s refusal to enforce immigration laws and allow illegal immigrants with COVID-19 to enter our country,” the statement notes.

“I also have the authority under long-established emergency response laws to control the movement of people to better contain the spread of a disaster, such as people known to have COVID-19. My duty remains to the people of Texas, and I have no intention of abdicating that,” Abbott explains.

According to Customs and Border Protection, more than 188,000 migrants have been apprehended as of June, and while the number of apprehensions for July is not yet recorded on the website, it is presumed to be on the rise, making it the highest in more than 20 years.

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