Justice Samuel Alito extended a temporary freeze on a decision that would have allowed Texas’ law enabling local police to arrest illegal migrants to take effect.

The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court earlier this month to prevent the law, SB 4, from taking effect, claiming it would “create chaos in the United States’ efforts to administer federal immigration laws in Texas.” In response, Alito issued an administrative stay to consider the request, which he extended in a Tuesday order through March 18.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the law in response to record numbers of illegal crossings, but the Department of Justice sued Texas to prevent its enforcement in January.

“The State’s injury is even sharper than usual here, moreover, because Texas is the nation’s first-line defense against transnational violence and has been forced to deal with the deadly consequences of the federal government’s inability or unwillingness to protect the border,” Texas said in a filing Monday night. (RELATED: ‘Doesn’t Have A Clue’: Texas Lt Gov Dan Patrick Rips Biden’s Border Guidance, Lays Out What State Would Do)

“Governor Abbott—acting as the ‘Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of the State of Texas, Tex. Const. art. IV, §4—has invoked Texas’s power to defend itself against transnational cartels engaged in terrorism, human trafficking, and fentanyl and weapons smuggling,” the filing continues. “What is more, cartels intentionally exploit vulnerable immigration policies and lapses in federal immigration enforcement for their financial gain—as President Biden recognized, ‘people pay these smugglers $8,000 to get across the border’ because the consequences for illegally crossing the border can be relatively nonexistent.”

A federal judge first halted the law on Feb. 29, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals paused the ruling, prompting the Biden administration’s appeal.

Originally published by the Daily Caller

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