Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he is ready to present evidence in court to reverse a federal judge's block to an executive order allowing police to stop vehicles suspected of carrying immigrants from the border into the state without legal permission.
''The court's recent order is temporary and based on limited evidence,” Abbott's office said in a statement Tuesday. ''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 willfully — released COVID-19 positive migrants into Texas communities, risking the potential exposure and infection of Texas residents. The governor's executive order attempts to prevent the Biden administration from spreading COVID-19 into Texas and protect the health and safety of Texans.''
The response comes after U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone issued a temporary restraining order on Abbott's July 28 Executive Order GA-37 that empowered the Department of Public Safety to stop vehicles with ''reasonable suspicion” of carrying migrants who crossed the southern border illegally farther into the state.
According to the order, the move is to prevent immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally while carrying the COVID-19 virus from infecting Texans as the delta variant of the disease surges.
In issuing the temporary block, Cardone ruled with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice, who sued Texas and Abbott to block the order.
''This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case, there is good cause to believe it will have jurisdiction over all the parties, and venue in this district is proper,” Cardone's ruling said. ''The United States is likely to prevail on its claims that Texas Governor Greg Abbott's ‘executive order No. GA-37 relating to the transportation of migrants during the COVID-19 disaster,' issued on July 28, 2021 (‘Executive Order'), violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution because (1) it conflicts with, and poses an obstacle to, federal immigration law; and (2) it directly regulates the federal government's operations.”
In issuing the order, Abbott said the ground transportation of immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally posed a danger to Texas residents because many were neither tested for nor vaccinated against the virus.
''The dramatic rise in unlawful border crossings has also led to a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases among unlawful migrants who have made their way into our state, and we must do more to protect Texans from this virus and reduce the burden on our communities,'' Abbott said when issuing the order July 28. ''This Executive Order will reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure in our communities.''
Both Abbott's administration and the Justice Department will appear in Cardone's court for a hearing on the case Aug. 13.
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