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State of Texas
Texas Attorney General's Office
News Release
Monday, December 18, 2017

AG Paxton Leads 11-State Coalition in Brief to Defend 
Federal Immigration Laws and Protect Unborn Children 

AUSTIN – Leading an 11-state coalition, Attorney General Ken Paxton yesterday filed a friend-of-the-court brief with a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in defense of the federal government’s right to deny abortions to two unlawfully-present minor aliens in the U.S. The minors, who unlawfully entered the U.S. without their parents, were detained by immigration officials and remain in federal custody.

The brief was filed ahead of a U.S. District Court hearing today to decide whether to issue a temporary restraining order against the federal government on the two requests. In October, the same court ordered the government to allow another unlawfully present minor in Texas to obtain an abortion in October.

“Unlawfully-present aliens with no substantial ties to this country do not have a constitutional right to abortion on demand,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Texas must not become a sanctuary state for abortions. If the plaintiffs in this case prevail, there will be no meaningful limit on the constitutional rights an unlawfully present alien can invoke simply by attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.”

Attorney General Paxton told the court that “the states are already spending enormous resources dealing with unlawful immigration.” Texas has a legitimate and substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life, as well as an interest in promoting respect for human life at all stages in a pregnancy.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on behalf of the 17-year-old minors – one is 22 weeks pregnant and the other is 10 weeks pregnant. The ACLU also represented the unlawfully present minor who was allowed to obtain an abortion after a legal fight pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas led multi-state briefs supporting the Trump administration in the first abortion case, and was prepared to file one with the high court on the day the abortion was performed.  

Since then, the Trump administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to wipe out the judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that allowed the abortion procedure. It also asked the high court to consider disciplinary action against the minor’s lawyers for allegedly misleading the government on the timing of the abortion. Earlier this month, Attorney General Paxton filed an 11-state friend-of-the-court brief declaring states’ interest in cooperating with the federal government on immigration law, and promoting respect for human life.

Joining Texas on the amicus brief are the attorneys general of Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, and the governor of Kentucky.

View the amicus brief here: http://bit.ly/2zkYfXg




Remembering Jim Guidry


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