Appeals court blocks Texas immigration law allowing police to make arrests in illegal border crossings

A federal appeals court has issued an order preventing Texas from arresting migrants suspected of entering the country illegally. The order comes hours after the Supreme Court gave the state the green light to enforce its controversial new immigration law.

The SB4 law makes it a crime for individuals to cross the US–Mexico border illegally and gives law enforcement the authority to charge them with a Class B misdemeanour, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail. Second offenders could face second-degree felony charges and up to 20 years in prison.

The decision to block the law by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals comes weeks after a panel on the same court cleared the way for Texas to enforce it.

But a majority verdict by a three-judge panel of the appeals court late on Tuesday ruled that the law should still not be enforced until further arguments are made before the court on Wednesday.

The Texas authorities had not announced any arrests made under the law while it was briefly enforceable.

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