The Texas state legislature passed a new bill that would make it possible for state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants. The law will also put in place restrictions on illegal immigration, which is facing increasing criticism from the political left.
The law allows for law enforcement to arrest those attempting to cross the Texas-Mexico border. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is expected to sign the measure.
After passing the Texas House of Representatives, the state Senate approved the measure 83 votes to 61.
The new law will expand the ability of police in the state to arrest migrants. While some arrests by Texas state troopers already occur, the bill would allow all police in the state to arrest illegal immigrants.
The proposed law would make the crossing a misdemeanor and could result in deportation. However, additional charges may also be sought by prosecutors. At the end of their sentence, migrants would be deported to Mexico.
The effort received significant criticism from the government of Mexico and from Democrats. Mexico City said that the bill would separate families and profile based on suspects’ race.
Texas Democrats argued that the law could result in improper arrests of American citizens or legal aliens. One Democratic member of the Texas House said that the state would not have the legal authority to deport migrants.
The governor has expanded the state’s efforts to prevent border crossings. Illegal alien entries have increased significantly since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, especially since he announced the end of the Title 42 asylum policy inherited from the Trump administration.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 30, 2023
Abbott launched Operation Lone Star, which employs state police and the Texas National Guard to try to prevent crossings. The effort has resulted in thousands of apprehensions and the removal of drugs intended for distribution in the United States. Texas also built a floating barrier on the Rio Grande, which was challenged in court.
In addition, Abbott said that he would travel to the border with former President Donald Trump. Abbott recently endorsed Trump in the 2024 GOP primary.