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Texas Threatens Immigration Lawsuit vs. Feds: Deja Vu All Over Again? By Roger Algase

Rating: 6 votes, 5.00 average.

In my July 2 post, I discussed the 5th Circuit decision of Texas v. US (1997) in which the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the discretion of the executive branch in enforcing the immigration laws was not reviewable in court, absent a showing of complete abdication of responsibility.

Since that time, the only things that have changed are that President Obama has deported a record number of 2 million unauthorized immigrants, and the Supreme Court, in Arizona v. US (2012) has re-emphasized the broad power of the executive branch to decide whom to deport and whom not to deport, including taking human considerations and equities in individual cases into account.

But now comes Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot (R). According to The Hill: Report: Texas might sue over border crisis (July 3), Abbot is saying that it is time to "revisit" this issue, "because of the increase in the cross-border influx and the strain on state resources".

Concerning the above 1997 case, Abbot stated:

"It was a political question [and therefore not reviewable by the courts]. We are looking at a change of circumstances that will allow us to distinguish this suit from the 1990's action...We think we have a change of circumstances."

Granted, there has been one other change in circumstances: Abbot was not running for governor of Texas in 1997, as The Hill reports he is doing now. (Texas had a different governor at that time, by the name of George W. Bush, who was listed as a plaintiff in the above lawsuit).

Other than that, Abbot's threat to sue the federal government for allegedly failing to enforce the immigration laws looks less like a change in circumstances and more like deja vu all over again, to quote Yogi Berra.

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Updated 07-05-2014 at 03:42 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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