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Federal judge issues temporary halt to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's order to pull over migrants 

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a press event. - COURTESY PHOTO / TEXAS GOVERNOR'S OFFICE
  • Courtesy Photo / Texas Governor's Office
  • Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a press event.
A federal judge has blocked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order asking state troopers to pull over vehicles suspected of transporting migrants who "pose a risk" of transmitting COVID-19.

El Paso-based U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone on Tuesday granted the Justice Department’s request for a temporary restraining order to prevent Abbott’s mandate from taking effect.

The Justice Department sued Abbott and the state on Friday, arguing that his order is unconstitutional and meddles with the federal government's ability to oversee immigration. Civil rights groups also threatened suits, arguing Abbott had asked state troopers to engage in racial profiling. 

In a statement responding to the judge's order, Abbott said the state looks forward to providing evidence supporting his order.

However, the ruling from Cardone — a George W. Bush appointee — suggests Texas doesn't hold the upper hand in the pending court battle. She noted that the Justice Department is “likely to prevail” in its argument that Abbott's order poses an obstacle to federal immigration law.

Abbott, who's running for reelection in 2022 and faces primary challenges from two far-right contenders, has enacted a flurry of hardline immigration moves, including a promise to continue building former President Donald Trump's unfinished border wall. 

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