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Arrington Leads Amicus Brief in Support of S.B. 4 in United States v. Texas

Washington, D.C. – Today, Chairman Jodey Arrington (TX-19) filed an amicus brief supporting the State of Texas in United States v. TexasThe brief, joined by 45 members of Congress – including the entire Republican Texas Delegation - argues in favor of Texas’s Senate Bill 4, which was passed by the Texas legislature and signed into law by Governor Abbott in December. S.B. 4 makes illegal entry into Texas from a foreign nation a state crime, and Chairman Arrington’s brief cites that states have the sovereign right to self-defense explicitly stated in Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution. 

“It is clear to any honest and objective person living in this country that President Biden has willfully disregarded the laws of the land, abdicated his constitutional duty to provide for a common defense, and unilaterally surrendered control of our border to terrorist drug cartels,” said Chairman Arrington. “Not only has President Biden failed to enforce our laws and secure our border – he has aggressively obstructed Texas’ efforts to do the job of the federal government, including the DOJ lawsuit over SB4. I am proud to lead 45 of my colleagues in an Amicus Brief supporting Texas’ Article 1 Section 10 right to stop the chaos, secure the border, and protect Texans – not only is the Constitution on our side, but the American people are on our side as well.”

"State attorneys general and lawmakers like Congressman Arrington have raised compelling constitutional questions about which powers states may invoke to defend themselves in the face of the Biden Administration’s abdication of its duty to secure our borders and protect the well-being of its citizens,” said Dan Stein, President of Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “Our Constitution does not leave states defenseless in the face of a flood of illegal immigration that allows criminals to prey upon our nation and imposes staggering financial costs on American taxpayers. We encourage states to continue exploring every possible measure to defend themselves—the urgency of the moment requires this. President Biden’s failure to act, his complete failure to enforce our laws, brought us to this point, and it may very well be the states who help get us out of it."

“Article I Section 10, of the U.S. Constitution grants states the ability to defend themselves when there is a real threat of imminent danger. The data is overwhelming, undeniable, and clearly establishes that Texas is facing imminent danger,” said Texas State Senator Charles Perry. “Human smuggling, criminal enterprises, and terrorists are making their way into the interior of the country on a daily basis. If not for Texas’ continued commitment to securing the border, it is without dispute that the nation would be a more dangerous place.”

“I applaud Congressman Arrington for leading others in filing this Amicus Brief in support of SB 4," 
said Texas State Representative David Spiller. "I believe that SB 4 is completely constitutional because it is not in conflict with the precedent set in Arizona v. U.S., it’s not preempted by existing federal immigration law, it’s not in conflict with existing federal immigration law, and Texas has the absolute constitutional right, authority and ability to protect its borders and secure its sovereignty."

"We applaud Rep. Arrington for filing an amicus brief supporting our state's clear constitutional right to defend its territorial sovereignty and the safety of its citizens. Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution grants clear authority to the states to defend themselves when they are 'actually invaded or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.' It is clear that both these criteria are met in the face of the Biden Administration's obstinate refusal to enforce federal immigration law or secure our border," said Chris Russo, President of Texans for Strong Borders. “The State of Texas has every right to secure its sovereign territory and S.B. 4 is a constitutional, conservative measure aimed at creating a criminal charge to deter illegal crossings. If effectively enforced, this bill would give Texas the legal tools to avoid being forced to turn apprehended illegal aliens over to DHS, who would almost certainly release them into the interior of our country with a court date far into the future. The Department of Justice's attempt to enjoin this law demonstrates the depths of this administration's radical commitment to Open Borders."


  • On December 18, 2023, Governor Abbott signed into state law Senate Bill 4, which was passed by the Texas legislature in a special session. Senate Bill 4 criminalizes illegal entry and reentry into the State from a foreign nation and authorizes state judicial officers to order offenders to return to the nation from which they illegally entered. 
  • On January 3, 2024, the DOJ filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas to enjoin the Texas bill from taking effect in early March. The DOJ argues that the legislation is unconstitutional and that it is preempted by federal law. 
  • Today, February 13th, Chairman Arrington files an amicus brief with 45 cosigners in support of Texas in the lawsuit U.S. v. Texas. The main arguments of the brief include:
  1. Texas and every other state in the Union have an inherent right to self-defense explicitly declared in Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution.
  2. Texas’s right to repel an invasion in nonjusticiable, meaning that Texas may exercise its sovereign right to self-defense whenever it may deem necessary through the state legislature. 
  3. General immigration regulations listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act cannot constrain Texas’s constitutional power to repel an invasion.