Texas GOP lawmakers urge DOJ to forgo lawsuit against Lone Star State: ‘Texas should not be punished’ – 24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today

Texas GOP lawmakers urge DOJ to forgo lawsuit against Lone Star State: ‘Texas should not be punished’ – Latest International Breaking News Today

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FIRST ON FOX: Several members of the Texas Republican congressional delegation are calling on the Justice Department to forgo its recent lawsuit against the Lone Star State, saying the Biden administration has “failed Texans and the American people with their open-border policies.”

In a letter slated to be sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday, more than a dozen House Republicans from Texas called out the Biden administration for its inability to secure the southern border while simultaneously targeting those who attempt to do so.

“We write to you with grave concern regarding the ongoing legal challenges being faced by the State of Texas in relation to Senate Bill 4 (SB4) passed on November 21, 2023, which grants the State of Texas the authority to arrest individuals who illegally crossed the border from Mexico,” the lawmakers, led by Texas GOP Rep. Roger Williams, wrote in the letter.

Earlier this month, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Texas over SB4, pitting Republican Gov. Greg Abbott against the Biden administration as both remain at odds over how to handle the escalating crisis at the southern border.

TEXAS SLAMS BIDEN ADMIN, PROMISES TOUGH BORDER MEASURES AFTER SCOTUS RAZOR WIRE RULING

Texas border, migrants

Immigrants wait to be processed at a U.S. Border Patrol transit center after they crossed the border from Mexico on Dec. 20, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The lawsuit, filed in an Austin federal court, came after Abbott signed into law last month a measure challenging the federal government’s authority over immigration matters. In addition to President Biden, several blue cities like New York and Chicago have pushed back against Abbott for having thousands of migrants bussed from his state to their jurisdictions.

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Pointing to a passage in the suit against their home state — one in which the DOJ noted “the Constitution assigns the federal government the authority to regulate immigration and manage our international borders” — the Republican lawmakers insisted the Biden administration and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas “have repeatedly refused to enforce our immigration laws and stop the flow of illegal migrants into our country.”

Texas border, migrants

A U.S. Border Patrol agent watches over more than 2,000 migrants at a field processing center on Dec. 18, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images)

“Since President Biden took office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has documented more than 6.7 million illegal border crossings; with an additional 1.7 million logged as ‘got-aways.’ This Administration’s open-border policies have failed the American people and turned every state into a border state,” the House Republicans said. “The record high levels of illegal migration have taken a toll on Texans throughout the state, prompting Governor Abbott to take action where the Biden Administration has not.”

The lawmakers said the DOJ’s claim that SB4 is unconstitutional “neglects the fact that the Texas law simply follows current federal immigration law which already makes it a crime to cross into the U.S. illegally.”

Highlighting their support for Abbott, as well as other state officials who are looking to reduce the number of illegal border crossings, the lawmakers said the Biden administration’s policies have “enticed migrants to continue to cross.”

Abbott pointing

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has repeatedly accused the Biden administration of failing to address issues at the border amid record numbers of migrants crossing into the United States. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“Texas has a responsibility to ensure the safety of its residents and must be allowed to act in a manner that is consistent with that goal,” they wrote. “President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas have failed Texans and the American people with their open-border policies. Texas should not be punished for this Administration’s refusal to enforce our current immigration laws.”

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“We urge that you reconsider your lawsuit and allow the state of Texas to act as necessary to secure the safety of its residents,” the Texas Republicans concluded.

MIGRANT ENCOUNTERS AT SOUTHERN BORDER HIT RECORD 302K IN DECEMBER, SOURCES SAY

Under the Texas law, migrants could either agree to a judge’s order to leave the U.S. or be prosecuted on misdemeanor charges of illegal entry. Those who do not leave could face serious felony charges if arrested again. Those ordered to leave would be sent to ports of entry along the border with Mexico, even if they are not Mexican citizens. The law can be enforced anywhere in Texas, but some places are off-limits, including schools and churches.

“Against all odds, Texas, and Texans, have stepped up in the fight to secure our border,” Williams said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “If President Biden is not going to take responsibility for the invasion of our country, Texas must be allowed to protect itself without fear of retaliation. I, along with the members of the Texas Delegation, ask that the DOJ reconsider its harmful suit, but most importantly, it’s past time they do their job and secure our border.”

Roger Marshall

“If President Biden is not going to take responsibility for the invasion of our country, Texas must be allowed to protect itself without fear of retaliation,” Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

As of publishing time, 15 Republicans had signed the letter expected to be sent to Garland on Wednesday evening. Those who have signed the letter include: Texas GOP Reps. Dan Crenshaw, Keith Self, Pat Fallon, Lance Gooden, Jake Ellzey, Morgan Luttrell, Michael McCaul, Ronny Jackson, Monica De La Cruz, Pete Sessions, Chip Roy, Beth Van Duyne, Michael Burgess, John Carter, and Brian Babin.

Abbott has repeatedly accused the Biden administration of failing to address issues at the border amid record numbers of migrants crossing into the United States. The bussing program has angered Democrats in blue cities, who say their jurisdictions lack sufficient resources to care for migrants they have received.

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Following a Monday ruling by the Supreme Court that gave Border Patrol agents the ability to cut or clear out razor wire that Texas had placed along the banks of the Rio Grande to deter migrants from entering the U.S. illegally, Texas officials vowed to maintain strict border security measures.

Lt. Chris Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the state, under Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, “will maintain its current posture in deterring illegal border crossings by utilizing effective border security measures.”

That includes reinforced razor wire and anti-climb barriers along the Rio Grande, Olivarez said in the post to X. 

Razor wire is seen on the banks of the Rio Grande at Shelby Park on Jan. 12, 2024 in Eagle Pass, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Sources with Customs and Border Protection told Fox News Digital earlier this month that migrant encounters hit a staggering 300,000 incidents in December 2023, reaching a level thought unimaginable just years ago.

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Between Dec. 1 and December 31, more than 302,000 migrants were documented attempting to cross the U.S. southern border. It is the highest total for a single month ever recorded. It is also the first time migrant encounters have exceeded 300,000.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

-24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today
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