“The ordinance violates federal law in many ways, and Texas cannot legally enforce the executive order against any federal official or private party working with the United States,” Garland told Abbott in a letter.
He added that if Texas continues to implement the restrictions on the ground imposed on migrants, the Department of Justice “will pursue all appropriate legal remedies.”
Garland’s letter arrived just a day after Abbott signed the order, which states that “no one, other than a federal, state or local law enforcement officer, should provide ground transportation to a group of migrants’ who were detained by federal immigration. officials for crossing the border.
He also ordered the State Public Security Department “to stop any vehicle on reasonable suspicion of a violation” and gives the department the power to “redirect such vehicle to its point of origin or a port. entry ”.
The executive order said the new policy is justified because of President Joe Biden’s “refusal to enforce laws passed by the United States Congress” and that the measure is intended to protect Texans from exposure to COVID-19 .
Garland said the order “would jeopardize the health and safety of non-citizens detained by the federal government” and that it would also interfere with the implementation of federal immigration law.
In July, Texas began arresting migrants accused of trespassing along the US-Mexico border as part of actions, according to Abbott, needed to slow the number of border crossings.
The arrests set in motion plans Abbott first announced in June, when he also said Texas would continue to build former President Donald Trump’s border wall and called on other governors to deploy members of the police and the National Guard to the southern border.
The inmates are being held in what was an empty state prison in Dilley, Texas. Officials said the converted facility will be able to accommodate more than 950 people.
Most of those arrested were single adult men, according to Val Verde County Prosecutor David Martinez, who said he was told a week earlier that the number of migrant arrests could reach 100 or 200 a day. So many, he said, “would overwhelm not only my office, but our entire system pretty quickly.”
Most of the land along the southern Texas border is private, but Martinez said he understands state soldiers will not stop family units. Earlier in July, U.S. officials said they met 55,805 family members with children in June, a 25% increase from the previous month. This figure is still well below the peak of 88,587 in May 2019.