Justice Department urges Texas to halt new migrant order
FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gives his State of the State Address in the House Chamber in Austin, Texas. Texas lawmakers have given final approval to allowing people carry handguns without a license, and the background check and training that go with it. The Republican-dominated Legislature approved the measure Monday, May 24, 2021 sending it to Gov. Abbott. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A new immigration measure by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is drawing swift backlash from the Justice Department.

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday urged Abbott to immediately walk back the directive that allows state troopers to pull over vehicles suspected of carrying migrants on the basis that they could increase the spread of COVID-19 in Texas.

The letter from Garland is among the most forceful pushback yet from the Biden administration over the actions taken by Abbott along the U.S.-Mexico border, which have also included jailing migrants on state crimes and building new fencing.

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