A county judge in Texas dealt a blow to Governor Greg Abbott’s controversial ‘Operation Lone Star’ after ruling his national guard’s apprehension of an illegal immigrant unconstitutional Thursday.
Operation Lone Star was created by Abbott amidst a wave of illegal immigrants from Central America crossing the US-Mexico border. It deploys law enforcement in areas human and drug smugglers are known to frequent.
The ruling could see the initiative stifled with attorneys saying that it could open a path for other immigrants to challenge their detention.
Judge Jan Soifer ruled in favor of Jesus Alberto Guzman Curipoma, an Ecuadorian engineer arrested in September and charged with criminal trespassing.
Angelica Cogliano, Curipoma’s lawyer, said that Operation Lone Star was unconstitutional because it tries to supersede federal immigration law.
She added that Curipoma was jailed rather than being considered for asylum, which is within his right.
‘The Texas government is restraining the liberty of thousands under the guise of criminal trespass prosecutions in an attempt to usurp federal immigration legislation and strong arm the federal government into enacting policies that Gov. Abbott would prefer,’ Cogliano wrote in a filing.
Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, acting on behalf of the state, actually agreed with the argument that Operation Lone Star violates federal law.
‘Prosecution for criminal trespass as part of Operation Lone Star violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution and represents an impermissible attempt to intrude on federal immigration policy,’ District Attorney Garza’s response said.
David A. Schulman filed on behalf of the state in Kinney County, where he argued the case should be heard, because that’s where Curipoma was arrested.
Schulman added that there was no evidence Curipoma’s arrest had anything to do with Operation Lone Star.
Abbott unveiled Operation Lone Star in March 2021, saying he would deploy thousands of Texas Department of Public Safety officers and Texas National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border amid a sharp increase in immigrants crossing from Mexico illegally or seeking asylum.
In its first two months, the Texas DPS made 598 criminal arrests and more than 16,000 referrals of illegal immigrants to the US Customs and Border Protection as part of Operation Lone Star, according to a Valley Central news report.
Late in 2020, Abbott said the operation had resulted in 52,000 illegal immigrants apprehended and 40 disrupted stash houses.
Abbott has also promised to finish former President Donald Trump’s border wall, which had stalled under President Joe Biden.
Source: Thanks msn.com