The families of asylum seekers from Central America will be processed by US border guards on July 8, 2021 after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico in Penitas, Texas, USA.

A federal judge in El Paso on Friday extended by two weeks a restraining order blocking Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order restricting the movement of migrants in the state.

The Justice Department requested a restraining order to prevent Abbott from using government soldiers to stop vehicles suspected of transporting migrants.

The Justice Department has argued that Texas tried to illegally create its own “immigration regime”.

Prosecutors have said the governor’s executive order addresses health concerns related to COVID-19.

After Friday’s hearing, a prosecutor said, “Overall, we think the state of Texas did its thing. We are trying to cope with COVID-19 and the immigration crisis that has been imposed on us. “

The case comes amid a coronavirus resurgence with the spread of the Delta variant. The Abbott administration did Texas communities prevented from introducing mask or vaccination regulations while focusing his COVID rhetoric on the border region.

“We all know the CDC, science, the World Health Organization, all of us have said that these masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But then he will blame the migrants, ”said Domingo Garcia, national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Federal immigration officials met migrants more than 212,000 times last month, the highest monthly total in 20 years – including nearly 19,000 unaccompanied children, more than ever in a single month. Although the encounters reached record numbers, they do not represent the number of unique individuals – 154,000 – who attempted to cross. Rather, they reflect how often people try to cross again.

During a visit to Brownsville, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas attributed the high number of repeat offenders to Title 42, a temporary public health policy that immediately turns migrants back to Mexico. Former President Trump implemented the measure at the start of the pandemic and President Biden has continued.

Mayorkas recognized the challenge that the large numbers of migrants pose to immigration officials and local communities. Mayorkas said an increasing number of migrants are testing positive for COVID-19. But he denied claims that migrants are driving the dramatic rise in cases in the south.

US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas takes part on 12th 2021.

“The positivity rate is equal to or lower than the rate in our local border communities,” Mayorkas said. “We’re building new capacity to deal with the situation, as quickly as possible. The scale of the challenge should not be overstated. But also our ability to master them. “

Abbott has repeatedly said in television interviews that Texas is enforcing federal immigration law because he believes the Biden administration has not been tough enough on border crossings. In May he issued a disaster declaration on the grounds that illegal crossings were “an ongoing and imminent danger of disaster”.

Weeks later, he announced that he would continue building the border wall, which Trump made a central point of his presidency. But Abbott went a step further and said he would arrest as many people as possible who they accuse of state crimes such as trespassing and vandalism. Abbott then ordered the Texas National Guard to assist the state forces with these arrests.

Immigration rights activists said Abbott’s order to order state soldiers to stop all vehicles suspected of transporting migrants is illegal for a number of reasons, including the fact that immigration policy falls under the purview of the federal government and used to create Invites racial profiles.

It will take the judge 2 weeks to rule up on the application @ACLU to consolidate lawsuits filed on behalf of NGOs providing services to migrants including transportation.

– Angela Kocherga (@AngelaKBorder) August 13, 2021

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has also filed a lawsuit against Abbott for his order. The ACLU said its lawsuit was different from the DOJ’s case because it was able to demonstrate the range of damage caused by the executive order to border communities, asylum seekers, their families, shelters and drivers across Texas.

The ACLU filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of a number of immigrant rights organizations and NGOs, including Annunciation House, one of the largest providers of accommodation on the US-Mexico border based in El Paso.

“The contract would have seriously affected the work of Annunciation House,” said Director Ruben Garcia, who notes that their work includes the transport of migrants. “Even to the point where we stopped our operation, and I believe all the NGOs on the other side of the border wrestled with the order.”

The lawsuit was also filed on behalf of Angry Tías & Abuelas of the Rio Grande Valley, a volunteer organization that supports migrants; Jennifer Harbury, a humanitarian volunteer who frequently drives migrants; and FIEL Houston, an immigrant rights organization whose members include newly arrived migrants who are subject to executive order travel restrictions.

“Governor Abbott’s order is blatantly unconstitutional and threatens to turn Texas into a ‘show me your papers’ state,” said Kate Huddleston, an attorney at the Texas ACLU. “The order creates the perfect storm for racial profiling creation by allowing state forces to view any group of people as ‘certain immigrants’ in violation of the order – border with Mexico. This is yet another attack by the governor on the civil rights of Texans and an attempt to scapegoat immigrants into the state. “

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