Judge temporarily blocks Texas order targeting suspected migrants

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Texas governor's executive order that directed state law enforcement to target suspected migrants, ruling that it will likely fail against a legal challenge from the Biden administration.

District Judge Kathleen Cardone issued a brief two-page decision forbidding Texas officials from carrying out Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottBudowsky: Newsom soars while Trump, Abbott, DeSantis ratings lag Biden launches investigation into Texas school mask mandate ban Texas governor signs more abortion restrictions into law MORE's (R) directive while the lawsuit plays out.

"The Executive Order causes irreparable injury to the United States and to individuals the United States is charged with protecting, jeopardizing the health and safety of non-citizens in federal custody, risking the safety of federal law enforcement personnel and their families, and exacerbating the spread of COVID-19," Cardone, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote.

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Among other things, the order essentially prohibited the private transportation of groups of migrants and directed state troopers to pull over vehicles suspected of violating the rule, setting off widespread criticism from across the country.

The Justice Department sued the state on Friday, just two days after Abbott signed the order, and asked Cardone for an emergency temporary restraining order against state officials from enforcing it. The administration argued that the order is unconstitutional for interfering with the federal government's duties in immigration enforcement.

"No State may obstruct the Federal Government in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities," the Justice Department wrote in its lawsuit. "But on July 28, 2021, the Governor of the State of Texas issued an executive order purporting—'effective immediately'—to restrict who may lawfully provide ground transportation in Texas to certain groups of migrants who have been detained by the Federal Government pursuant to U.S. immigration authorities or are otherwise subject to certain Federal authorities."

Abbott's office did not immediately respond when asked for comment.