Aug 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Federal judge blocks Texas order restricting transport of migrants

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a border security briefing with sheriffs from border communities at the Texas State Capitol on July 10 in Austin, Texas.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the Texas State Capitol in July in Austin, Texas. Photo: Tamir Kalifa via Getty Images

A federal judge in El Paso on Tuesday temporarily blocked an order issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) restricting the transportation of undocumented migrants.

Why it matters: U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone's ruling is a win for the Biden administration, in the latest clash between Texas and the Department of Justice, which filed a lawsuit against the state last week challenging Abbott's executive order on migrants.

Driving the news: Abbott's order prevented people from providing ground transportation to migrants detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for illegally crossing the southern border, amid record arrivals.

  • The governor cited a spike in COVID-19 cases in Texas for his action, as he refused to mandate masks in the state.
  • Attorney General Merrick Garland urged Abbott to rescind the order, saying it would "jeopardize the health and safety of noncitizens in federal government custody, federal law enforcement personnel and their families, and our communities."

What to watch: Cardone's temporary restraining order remains in effect until Aug. 13, unless it's extended.

  • The judge has yet to decide on whether the Texas order is constitutional.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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