Texas Passes Law Making Illegal Immigration a State Crime

On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) signed a bill into law making it a state crime for illegal aliens to enter the state, and thus allowing state law enforcement to arrest them, the first such law of its kind in the nation.

Breitbart reports that the bill, SB 4, was signed into law in a massive public display at the southern border in Brownsville, Texas. In attendance was Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R-Texas), National Border Patrol Council President (NBPC) Brandon Judd, and numerous state lawmakers.

The bill, passed during Special Session #4 of the state legislature, makes it a criminal offense to illegally enter the state of Texas from a foreign country. As a result, those who illegally re-enter the state can now face sentences of up to 20 years in prison. State law enforcement will now be authorized to deport illegals back to the foreign nation from which they entered, and the law also provides civil immunity and indemnification for local and state officials, government employees, and government contractors from lawsuits targeting the new law.

Under the new law, illegals can cooperate with law enforcement by agreeing to return to their home country, a process known as Stipulated Deportation. The law also increases the penalties for immigration-related offenses that normally would be dealt with by the federal government, and builds off of several previously-passed laws that already increased criminal penalties for illegal immigration.

Such legislation is the latest effort by Governor Abbott to ramp up enforcement of border security by state authorities, as the federal government under Joe Biden has completely abandoned any efforts to secure the border. Federal immigration officials, such as ICE and Border Patrol, have been ordered to stand down and not arrest illegals, instead largely acting as escorts to help them enter the country.

Abbott had previously implemented measures such as installing a massive buoy barrier within the Rio Grande River to deter illegals from crossing the river into Texas. The Biden Administration tried to sue to have the barrier removed, but the effort ultimately failed in court. Later, when federal Border Patrol agents were ordered to cut through a barbed wire barrier also set up by Texas, the state sued over these actions and won in court. The Biden Administration is expected to challenge this new law in court as well.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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