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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.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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

Go deeper

DOJ seeks emergency order to temporarily block Texas abortion law

Pro-Abortion rights protesters march outside the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 1 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Sergio Flores For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Department of Justice submitted an emergency motion late Tuesday seeking a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction on Texas' ban on abortions after six weeks.

Why it matters: The action marks an escalation by the Biden administration in its challenge on the constitutionality of the GOP-led state's restrictive new law, after the DOJ filed a lawsuit last week following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, in a 5-4 vote, to allow the ban to remain in place.

By the numbers: Speeding border asylum cases

Data: TRAC; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Biden administration now has nearly 17,000 migrants assigned to special courts dedicated to processing families seeking asylum quicker.

Why it matters: New data from Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) gives another sign of just how many migrants — including families — have been crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to claim political asylum.

Updated Sep 14, 2021 - Science

Hurricane Nicholas makes landfall in Texas

Weather conditions are seen in Galveston, Texas, ahead of Hurricane Nicholas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Hurricane Nicholas made landfall near Sargent Beach, Texas, Tuesday morning — threatening to bring up to 18 inches of rainfall and flooding to parts of the state and Louisiana, per the National Hurricane Center.

What's happening: Heavy rains, high winds and "dangerous" storm surges were ongoing, said the NHC, confirming just before 2am that the Category 1 hurricane had hit the state. Nearly 200,000 customers had lost power in Texas by 3:30am, per the utility tracking site poweroutage.us.