Tennessee AG Supports Texas in Immigration Law Brief

Tennessee's AG joins a coalition backing Texas' immigration enforcement law.

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti has joined forces with 22 other states in supporting Texas’ stringent immigration law, SB4, through an amicus brief filed at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday. This law criminalizes illegal immigration in Texas and authorizes state magistrates and judges to deport illegal immigrants back to their origin countries.

The move by Tennessee and the coalition, which includes states like Alabama, Arkansas, and Wyoming among others, signals a strong stance against what they perceive as the federal government’s failure to effectively secure the southern border of the United States. “Tennessee stands with Texas as it protects its citizens from the ongoing federal failure to secure our southern border,” stated Attorney General Skrmetti. He emphasized the state’s right and responsibility to safeguard their citizens in light of the federal government’s open border policies.

The amicus brief argues that states have an inherent obligation to their citizens to address public crises, which includes enacting legislation to ensure their safety. It asserts that the states have a paramount interest in ensuring their laws are not deemed unconstitutional under faulty preemption analyses.

The legal battle over Texas’ law SB4 has seen significant developments, with the U.S. government and private plaintiffs challenging the law. A U.S. District Court initially enjoined the law, but this injunction was temporarily stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Joining Tennessee in the brief are states from across the country, including Ohio and South Carolina, who co-led the filing. This unified front underscores the ongoing debate over state versus federal responsibilities in immigration enforcement and the extent to which states can enact their own laws to protect their citizens from illegal immigration.

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