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Texas Follows Doctrine of Lesser Magistrates With Illegal Immigration Law

The state of Texas has put up with an invasion on its southern border for years, and now the state has a new strategy for fighting back. Crossing into the US, outside of an official port of entry is already a federal crime, although widely unenforced. SB4 makes illegal immigration a state crime, ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony. Under SB4, invading Texas from Mexico would be treated as a misdemeanor crime, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Reentry after deportation can carry a felony charge especially if deported after committing crimes.

Critics have blasted the law as the most anti-immigration law since Arizona’s 2010 “Show Me Your Papers” law which was struck down by the Supreme Court thanks to liberal justices. However, this law is akin to states enforcing federally controlled substances, like marijuana, on a state level. The ACLU vowed to fight the law. Additionally, the President of Mexico vows to fight the law because Texas appears poised to deport non-Mexican illegal aliens to Mexico even against Mexico’s objections.

Lesser Magistrate Interposition

The federal government has opened America’s border and rolled out the welcome mats for invasion from the Mexican border. A competent nation would have repelled the invasion forcefully. However, in America, the federal government fights against the states for taking the initiative. Texas has erected a border wall in the Rio Grande River and deployed the National Guard, the former has been fought over in courts. Texas is creating a state variant of federal law, so it would seem constitutionally valid, but courts are political, not legal institutions.

Texas is defying Supreme Court precedent and the federal government’s agenda to allow an invasion into our country. The lesser magistrate is interposing not by defying the greater magistrate’s laws but by enforcing them. This civil disobedience might be the most biblical example since Michael Cassidy.

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One Response

  1. I don’t know of any country in the world that one could enter without being asked for papers. We ask for papers at the northern border, the western and eastern ports. Even if you’re a US Citizen, you have to show papers upon reentry into the country.

    The “papers please” argument is ridiculous. If it’s authoritarian to ask for papers when someone crosses into the country, then just about every country on this planet is an authoritarian police state.

    In this country you can be stopped and asked for your papers, which is technically an arrest, anytime and anywhere, if a law enforcement officer has legitimate probable cause, according to the 4th Amendment, traffic checkpoints being one hotly debated exception. But the point is that “papers please” is not necessarily indicative of an authoritarian police state.

    Who knows what the courts will do, but if the police-state “papers please” argument is the best they can do, it doesn’t hold much water.

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