Saturday, December 30, 2023

Gov. Greg Abbott Signs Bill Making Illegal Immigration a State Crime; Abbott Empowers Police to Arrest Illegal Border Crossers, As Thousands More Pour In

 Joe Timmerman/The Texas Tribune
Gov. Greg Abbott signs bill making illegal immigration a state crime:
Gov. Greg Abbott traveled to the Rio Grande Valley on Monday to sign into law three bills that pour more money into his three-year effort to deter illegal immigration at the Texas-Mexico border and give Texas law enforcement authority to arrest undocumented immigrants anywhere in the state.
Senate Bill 3 earmarks $1.54 billion in state money to continue construction of barriers along the 1,200-mile border, and allows the state to spend up to $40 million for state troopers to patrol Colony Ridge, a housing development near Houston that far-right publications claim is a magnet for undocumented immigrants.
The money would be added to at least $1.5 billion in contracts the state has issued since September 2021 to build about 40 miles of border barrier. As of August, Texas had erected 16 miles of steel bollard barriers in Starr, Cameron, Val Verde and Webb counties.
Senate Bill 4 creates a state crime for illegally crossing the border from Mexico — a new law that is likely to force a legal showdown with the federal government.
Another Senate Bill 4 — this one passed by lawmakers during the third special session earlier this year — would increase the minimum sentence from two years to 10 years for smuggling immigrants or operating a stash house.
The laws funding the border barrier and making crossing illegally a state crime go into effect in early March. The human smuggling law goes into effect in early February.
Abbott, who was in Brownsville on Monday to sign the bills, said Texas needs to defend itself from drug cartels, blaming the Democratic President Joe Biden administration’s immigration policies.
“Biden’s deliberate inaction has left Texas to fend for itself,” Abbott said. --->READ MORE HERE
Gov. Abbott empowers police to arrest illegal border crossers, as thousands more pour in
Texas governor Greg Abbott signed a new law Monday which gives law enforcement officers in the state the power to arrest anyone suspected of entering the country illegally.
The measure comes as photos showed thousands of migrants in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody at Eagle Pass in the state, after illegally making their way into the country Sunday night and Monday morning.
Texas also halted two train crossings from Mexico at El Paso and Eagle Pass as of 8 a.m. Monday, on routes where thousands of migrants have been hitching rides through northern Mexico to the border.
Under Abbott’s new law, known as SB4, illegally entering the country into Texas will become a state crime. People arrested under the law will be able to choose whether to follow a judge’s orders to leave the country or be prosecuted and face either jail or a fine up to $2,000. Repeat offenders will then by charged with a felony.
At the signing in Brownsville, Gov. Abbott said: “[Law enforcement officers] are seeing with their own eyes people who are violating the law and now they’re going to have the ability to arrest them, prosecute them, make them subject to jail, make them subject to being sent back and make them subject to even greater penalties if they dare to come into Texas a second time.”
One of the may crowds of migrants waiting to be processed outside the Eagle Pass crossing in Texas on Monday
The SB4 measures are set to come into effect in March, but are expected to face legal challenges before then, as immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility.
On Monday morning, photos taken by NewsNation showed a crowd of over 2,000 migrants gathered in neat columns at Eagle Pass waiting to be processed through the border.
They were just a handful of the tens of thousands who have arrived at the border this month, which has already seen about 30,000 more migrant encounters than the same period last month. --->READ MORE HERE
If you like what you see, please "Like" and/or Follow us on FACEBOOK here, GETTR here, and TWITTER here.

No comments: