The Justice Department on Wednesday sued Texas over its new law that lets state and local police arrest migrants who illegally cross the border.
The lawsuit is over Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s law that makes it a criminal offense to enter the state illegally. The new law, set to take effect in March, makes it a misdemeanor to enter Texas from a foreign country at any location other than a lawful port of entry.
In the lawsuit, prosecutors said the Texas statute violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, which says federal law takes precedence over state law. The U.S. “must speak with one voice in immigration matters,” prosecutors wrote.
The move is the latest in a series of actions between the Biden administration and the Republican governor over the immigration crisis.
They also argued that the law would “intrude on the federal government’s exclusive authority to regulate the entry and removal of noncitizens, frustrate the United States’ immigration operations and proceedings, and interfere with U.S. foreign relations.”
A spokesperson for Abbott did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Abbott previously ordered the installation of a 1,000-foot floating barrier near Eagle Pass along with razor wire near the Rio Grande to stop migrants from entering the state.
Abbott’s office has also bused migrants from Texas to Democratic-led cities like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., to protest the Biden administration’s immigration policies.
The Justice Department has asked the court to declare the law invalid and to block Texas from enforcing it.