Legal battle between Justice Department, Gov. Greg Abbott continues
The legal battle between the U.S. Department of Justice and Gov. Greg Abbott continues.
A federal judge in El Paso announced Monday that she will issue an order on the DOJ’s request for a temporary restraining order Tuesday afternoon.
Last Wednesday, Gov. Abbott signed an executive order allowing Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to stop vehicles suspected of transporting migrants.
The order authorizes DPS to "stop any vehicle suspected of" transporting individuals who may "have been detained by CBP for crossing the border illegally."
Troopers would be allowed to reroute vehicles back to their starting points, or a port of entry, if an actual violation is confirmed.
Abbott said in a statement that "this executive order will reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure in our communities."
On Friday, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in federal courts, asking for a temporary restraining order until a judge can rule on the constitutionality of the order.
According to court documents, RGV Sector Chief Border Patrol Agent Brian Hastings says Abbott's order would not only force CBP to possibly violate a federal law limiting the amount of time individuals can be detained, but it would also put agents at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 because of the surge, saying contractors are needed to move migrants to different locations to help keep capacity at a safe level.
In response to that suit, Abbott said he has the “authority, and duty, under the constitutions of the United States and of Texas to protect Texans and our nation," adding that he also has the authority
"under long-established emergency response laws to better contain the spread of a disaster, such as those known to have COVID-19."
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