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Supreme court rejects Biden’s challenge to Texas border law

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to intervene in a contentious legal battle over a Texas law empowering state law enforcement to arrest individuals suspected of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. The law, staunchly supported by Republicans, faced a challenge from President Joe Biden’s administration, which argued that it encroached upon federal authority in regulating immigration.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the law, known as SB 4, in December, granting local law enforcement powers traditionally reserved for federal agencies. Abbott attributed the necessity of the law to what he perceives as Biden’s failure to enforce federal immigration laws effectively, accusing the administration of leaving Texas to address the issue alone.

The law criminalizes illegal entry or re-entry into Texas, imposing penalties ranging from 180 days in jail to 20 years in prison. Moreover, it mandates Texas magistrate judges to order migrants to return to Mexico, with potential 20-year sentences for non-compliance.

In response to the administration’s lawsuit seeking to block the law, a U.S. District Court initially sided with the government, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently paused the ruling, allowing the law to potentially take effect. Justice Samuel Alito halted this decision on March 4, pending further review by the Supreme Court.

The legal showdown underscores the broader debate surrounding immigration policy, with Republicans criticizing Biden’s approach to border security and advocating for a return to the stricter measures implemented under former President Donald Trump. The issue has become a focal point, with exit polls indicating widespread concern among voters and Biden’s public approval rating standing at 37% as of February 28, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.

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