WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday extended a temporary block on a new Texas immigration law that is being challenged by the Biden administration.

In an order issued by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the court again imposed a temporary freeze on a lower court decision. The court said the law would remain on hold “pending further order” of the court.

The law was originally due to go into effect on March 10, but Alito has now stepped in on three occasions to ensure the lower court ruling remains on hold.

His most recent order was due to expire on Monday evening, meaning the law would have gone into effect absent Supreme Court action.

The ruling is now blocked indefinitely, giving all nine justices additional time to determine what next steps to take.

The law in question, known as SB4, allows police to arrest migrants who illegally cross the border from Mexico and imposes criminal penalties.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said in court papers the Texas law is “flatly inconsistent” with Supreme Court precedent dating back 100 years.

Defending the law, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in court papers that the measure complements federal law and the state should be allowed to enforce it.

The Constitution “recognizes that Texas has the sovereign right to defend itself from violent transnational cartels that flood the state with fentanyl, weapons, and all manner of brutality,” he added.

The city of El Paso and two immigrant rights groups, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center and American Gateways, have also challenged the law and had filed their own emergency request at the Supreme Court.

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