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Texas Democrat slams immigration law as an ‘absolute disaster’

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) claimed the state’s immigration law is an “absolute disaster” that would violate the civil rights of many of the citizens in the Lone Star State.

Castro joined MNSBC on Wednesday, the same day a federal appeals court is hearing oral arguments over a Texas immigration law that would enable state law enforcement to arrest people they suspect are illegally entering the U.S. from Mexico.

He slammed the law as a “right-wing reactionary piece of policy” and criticized Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).

“It is the state government trying to totally take over the function of immigration enforcement … which is unconstitutional, and which the state and law enforcement and others and others in the state are completely unprepared for,” Castro said. “And so, it would be an absolute disaster that would violate civil rights.”

Castro said that in a state where 40 percent of the population is Latino, the law would lead to racial profiling.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday briefly allowed the Texas law to take effect, but a federal appeals court hours later issued an order that put it on hold.

Castro argued that Abbott and other Texas Republicans are testing the constitutionality of laws now that there is a more conservative Supreme Court.

“I believe that ultimately they’re going to fail, that this law will be found unconstitutional, mostly because it’s completely unworkable,” he said, adding that the courts keep “ping-ponging” back and forth over the law.

The law would allow local law enforcement to arrest people suspected of illegally crossing the border, before they face deportation to Mexico or jail time.

Mexico is not responsible for accepting deportations of anyone except Mexican citizens. The country said it would not “under any circumstances” accept the return of migrants from Texas.

Castro argued that the federal government needs to be in charge of immigration enforcement. The enforcement cannot be up to the 50 states, he said, because Mexico can’t respond to “50 different individual states and what they’re doing.”

“I believe and I hope is that this law is found unconstitutional and the Supreme Court makes clear that the federal government has a responsibility and the authority over immigration enforcement in the United States of America,” he said.

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