Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) decided to take matters into his own hands to protect Texans from illegal immigrants crossing the border since the Biden administration has failed to do so. By signing a new bill into effect on Monday, it is now a state crime for illegal immigrants to enter Texas, which gives state law enforcement authority to arrest them.
Called SB 4, the bill makes it a criminal offense to illegally enter the state of Texas from another country. Those who do not follow the law will face sentences of up to 20 years in prison. Texas law enforcement will now be authorized to deport illegal immigrants back to the foreign nation from which they entered.
The law will increase the penalties for immigration-related offenses that would normally be dealt with by the federal government. It also builds off several previously passed laws that increased criminal penalties for illegal immigration. The goal is to deter illegal immigrants from entering the country through the state of Texas.
The law will also provide civil immunity and compensation for local and state officials, government employees, and contractors from lawsuits targeting the new law.
The bill, which was signed into law in a large public display at the southern border in Brownsville, Texas, is the first of its kind in the country. Among the attendees were Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R-TX), National Border Patrol Council President (NBPC) Brandon Judd, and numerous state lawmakers.
In addition to SB 4, Abbott signed a law providing $1.5 billion to build more border walls. There had already been $10 billion spent on his state-run fight against illegal migration.
“Texas will take this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court …,” he said in a statement on Monday.”
Of course, Democrats have criticized the bill, stating that SB 4 is unconstitutional, claiming immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility. While it is a federal matter, the Biden administration has abandoned protecting the southern border, which has resulted in thousands of illegals entering the country daily.
This unconstitutional law will allow Texas police, without any immigration training, to remove someone from the state they assume is here unlawfully. This will result in more racial profiling of Black and Brown Texans. We must fight back.https://t.co/UfKP408d3h
— Jessica González (@jessicafortexas) December 19, 2023
Instead of protecting the southern border, federal immigration officials, such as ICE and Border Patrol, have been ordered to stand down and not arrest illegal immigrants caught entering the country. Instead, officials have served as escorts to help them enter the country.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also criticized Abbott Tuesday in a news conference.
“He wants to be the Republican Party’s vice presidential candidate. In the United States he wants to gain popularity with these measures,” López Obrador said.
“You are not going to win anything,” he warned Abbott. “On the contrary, he will lose sympathy because in Texas there are many Mexicans, many migrants. He forgets that Texas was from Mexico, like 10 states of the American Union.”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has vowed to fight a new Texas law that gives state officials the authority to prosecute migrants who cross into the United States at the U.S.-Mexico border.https://t.co/lEjzLXg9VY https://t.co/I3gkIKsCYb
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) December 20, 2023
Abbott is no stranger to criticism. The governor has been busing illegal immigrants from Texas to Democratic-run cities, including Chicago, New York City, and Vice President Kamala Harris’s residence in Washington, D.C. without prior notice.
Chicago mayor says Texas Gov. Abbott 'attacking our country' over migrant bussing to Dem cities https://t.co/3EFtzYNE8R
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 20, 2023