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Skrmetti joins brief supporting Texas’ right to protect its citizens from illegal immigration
March 21, 2024, 7:01 p.m.

NASHVILLE, TN – On Wednesday, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti joined a coalition of 22 states in filing an amicus brief at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in support of Texas’s state law SB4. SB4 makes illegal immigration into the Lone Star State a state crime and allows state magistrates and judges to order those who have crossed the border illegally back to the country from which they entered.

“Tennessee stands with Texas as it protects its citizens from the ongoing federal failure to secure our southern border,” Attorney General Skrmetti said. “The federal government has abdicated its duty at the border. Until the federal open border policies are fixed, the states as sovereign governments have both the right and the responsibility to protect their citizens.”

The amicus brief filed by the states in support of Texas’s law argues, “States also bear an obligation to their citizens to address the attendant public crisis. That obligation implicates one of Amici States’ core sovereign prerogatives—enacting legislation pursuant to their police powers to protect their citizens’ safety… Relatedly, Amici States have a paramount interest in ensuring that their validly enacted state laws are not improperly held unconstitutional under incorrect preemption analyses.”

The U.S. government and private plaintiffs filed suit over the law. A U.S. District Court enjoined the law, but that injunction was temporarily stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Attorney General Skrmetti joined Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming on the Ohio and South Carolina co-led amicus brief.

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