Media Contact

Selene Escalera, ACLU of Texas, 832-280-6989, media@aclutx.org
Inga Sarda-Sorensen, ACLU National, 347-514-3984, isarda-sorensen@aclu.org

August 26, 2021

EL PASO, Texas — A federal court today blocked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order that bars the transportation of certain migrants in the state.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas represent plaintiffs challenging Abbott over his order, GA-37. A separate challenge was brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. The two cases have been consolidated for pretrial purposes.

The ACLU lawsuit differs from the DOJ case because the plaintiffs present the range of harms caused by the executive order to border communities, asylum seekers, their families, shelters, and drivers throughout Texas.

The ACLU filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of Annunciation House, one of the largest shelter providers on the U.S.-Mexico border, based in El Paso, Texas; Angry Tías & Abuelas of the Rio Grande Valley, a volunteer organization that aids migrants; Jennifer Harbury, a humanitarian volunteer who frequently drives migrants; and FIEL Houston, an immigrants’ rights organization with members who include recently arrived migrants subject to restrictions on travel due to the executive order.

Kate Huddleston, an attorney at the ACLU of Texas, said:

“The court’s blocking of Gov. Abbott’s blatantly unconstitutional executive order provides welcome relief for Texans. With the court’s injunction, our plaintiffs — including shelter providers, humanitarians, and immigrants living in Texas — will be able to live their lives and provide refuge for asylum seekers free from the threat of having their vehicles impounded or being forced to drive to the border. This is the first step to ensuring that this latest assault on Texans’ civil rights and effort to scapegoat immigrants by the governor is unsuccessful.”

Spencer Amdur, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, had the following reaction to today’s ruling granting a preliminary injunction:

“Our clients brought this lawsuit because the executive order is illegal and inhumane. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched an unprecedented attack on migrants and the federal immigration system, and the court was right to block the order.”
 
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in El Paso, Texas.

Ruling: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/pi-grant-us-and-annunciation-house-v-texas

Statement: https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/federal-court-blocks-texas-migrant-transportation-order

More case details: https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/aclu-files-federal-lawsuit-challenging-texas-migrant-transportation-order