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Justice Dept. sues Texas governor over an executive order on migrants.

  • August 02, 2021

When Mr. Abbott announced the order on Wednesday, he cited the coronavirus as a risk he hoped to stem by prohibiting anyone but law enforcement officials from providing ground transportation to migrants who had been detained on suspicion of illegal entry, or who would be subject to expulsion under Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allows border officials to expel migrants based on Covid-19 concerns.

Mr. Abbott said in a statement that he had “no intention” of abdicating “the authority under long-established emergency response laws to control the movement of people to better contain the spread of a disaster, such as those known to have Covid-19.”

He accused the Biden administration of creating a constitutional crisis between the federal government and his state because his communities “are overrun and overwhelmed by the record-high influx of migrants,” as well as criminals who profit from the border crisis.

The United States often works with private companies, federal personnel and nonprofits to transport migrants in federal custody to other destinations.

The Justice Department said in its lawsuit that there were “a variety of circumstances in which noncitizens must be transported between locations,” including moving unaccompanied children between Department of Homeland Security facilities, Office of Refugee Resettlement facilities and sponsors, who are often family members.

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