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Supreme Court clears way, for now, for Texas to arrest and deport migrants

The Supreme Court on Tuesday disrupted a key element of U.S. border policy, clearing the way for Texas to begin arresting and deporting migrants who enter the state illegally, even though that law enforcement role has historically been part of the federal government's control over international borders.

In a divided, preliminary order, the court's conservative majority allowed the law to take effect for now, while challenges to it continue in the court system. Two justices in the majority said the Supreme Court may again consider intervening after a lower court decides whether Texas can continue to enforce the statute temporarily. Their statement appeared to have an immediate effect, as the lower court quickly scheduled a hearing on that question for Wednesday morning.

The law, known as S.B. 4, makes it a state crime for migrants to illegally cross the border and allows Texas officials to deport undocumented individuals, though Mexico said Tuesday that it would not accept anyone sent back by the state and condemned the law as "encouraging the separation of families, discrimination and racial profiling that violate the human rights of the migrant community."


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