On Tuesday, the Supreme Court gave Texas the go-ahead to begin enforcing an immigration law that will allow state officials to arrest and detain people they suspect of entering the country illegally.

Senate Bill 4, signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in December, deems entering Texas illegally a state crime and allows state judges to deport immigrants.

A federal judge in Austin blocked the state government from implementing the law, though the fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary stay of the lower court’s decision and ruled the law would take effect on March 10 if the Supreme Court did not intervene.

Abbott called Tuesday’s decision a “positive development,” while also acknowledging the case will continue in the appeals court, as the Biden administration and others have already begun to push back on the ruling.

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“So far as I know, this court has never reviewed the decision of a court of appeals to enter — or not enter — an administrative stay,” Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote in a concurring opinion, joined by Justice Brett Kavanaugh. “I would not get into the business. When entered, an administrative stay is supposed to be a short-lived prelude to the main event” a ruling on the motion for a stay pending appeal.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, along with Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, said the order “invites further chaos and crisis in immigration enforcement.”

“Texas can now immediately enforce its own law imposing criminal liability on thousands of noncitizens and requiring their removal to Mexico,” Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. “This law will disrupt sensitive foreign relations, frustrate the protection of individuals fleeing persecution, hamper active federal enforcement efforts, undermine federal agencies ability to detect and monitor imminent security threats, and deter noncitizens from reporting abuse of trafficking.”

The Fifth Circuit will hear arguments Wednesday over whether to put the law back on hold until next month.

According to Homeland Security officials, migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border remain low following record highs in December.

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