Friday, July 30, 2021

Attorney General Garland Warns Texas Governor About State COVID-19 Travel Ban


Official Picture of Attorney General Garland from Department of Justice website

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is in the news on immigration.  In a letter dated July 29, 2021, Garland warned Texas Governor Greg Abbott to “immediately rescind” an executive order aimed at travel into the state of undocumented immigrants who may pose a COVID-19 risk.

“The order violates federal law in numerous respects, and Texas cannot lawfully enforce the executive order against any federal official or private parties working with the United States,” Garland told Abbott in the letter.  He warns that if Texas continues to implement the ground restrictions on migrants, then the Department of Justice will “pursue all appropriate legal remedies”.

Garland’s letter came just a day after Abbott signed the order, which states that “no person, other than a federal, state, or local law-enforcement official, shall provide ground transportation to a group of migrants” who have been detained by federal immigration officials for crossing the border.  It also directed the state’s Department of Public Safety to “stop any vehicle upon reasonable suspicion of a violation” and gives the department authority to “reroute such a vehicle back to its point of origin or a port of entry”

The executive order stated that the new policy is warranted because of President Joe Biden’s “refusal to enforce laws passed by the United States Congress” and the measure is aimed at protecting Texans.


UPDATE (July 30, 4:00 p.m. PST):  The United States filed suit to invalidate Governor Abbott's executive order on federal preemption grounds.  Click here for details.


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