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Texas Governor Signs Law Giving Police Power to Arrest Illegal Immigrants

Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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border fence and people walking through it; texas border illegal immigrants

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed a border security bill into law that will give state law enforcement broad authority to arrest migrants who have entered Texas illegally and will allow local judges to order such migrants out of the country.

The Dec. 18 move by the Republican governor puts into place one of the nation’s strictest immigration laws and sets up a clash with the federal government, which has authority over immigration policy. Under the new rules, all law enforcement officials in the state of Texas, including those who are hundreds of miles from the border, would have the authority to detain migrants suspected of entering the nation illegally.

Because the offense is considered a misdemeanor, the judge has the authority to order the defendant to leave the country.

“Biden’s deliberate inaction has left Texas to fend for itself,” Mr. Abbott said in a bill-signing ceremony at the border wall in Brownsville, Texas.

Separately on Dec. 18, U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporarily shut down two railroad border crossings in Texas to shift officers to help process migrants. Rail operators said the closures at Eagle Pass and El Paso would hamper trade ahead of Christmas.

Opponents of the new law argue that it could result in racial profiling or the unlawful arrest of citizens and immigrants who are legal residents. Additionally, Democrats said it would make immigrant victims of crime apprehensive about calling the police.

The new legislation doesn’t apply to residents who have been in the nation for more than two years, according to state Rep. David Spiller, one of the Republicans who sponsored the bill. In its defense, he stated it would be implemented primarily in the vicinity of the border and that it contained adequate safeguards.

Legal experts and organizations that advocate for immigrant rights have voiced their opposition to the Texas legislation, arguing that it’s in direct opposition to the jurisdiction of the U.S. government to regulate immigration.

Democrats asserted that Texas Republicans are seeking to have the newly appointed conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court reconsider a case from 2012 that invalidated significant sections of previous immigration legislation.

The Mexican government, which has already voiced its opposition to other moves taken by Texas along the border, also expressed concerns about the new legislation.

It’s highly probable that it will face challenges in court. Opponents will argue that it is a blatant breach of the law in the United States, as the authority to deport individuals is entirely vested in the federal government.

Mr. Abbott, currently serving his third term as governor of Texas, has made the implementation of increasingly aggressive policies at the border between Texas and Mexico a central focus of his administration.

In addition to providing law enforcement with broader arrest powers, Republicans in Texas are on pace to approve $1.5 billion to fund continued construction of an addition to federal border wall sections.

In recent months, Texas has also filed a lawsuit in an effort to maintain a floating barrier on the Rio Grande and to prohibit agents of the Border Patrol from destroying razor wire.

Mr. Abbott also started Operation Lone Star, a program in cooperation with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard, in March of 2021.

The operation is an effort to secure the border by barring the entry of drugs, weapons, and people and to counter transnational criminal activities between ports of entry.

According to a Dec. 15 statement from Mr. Abbott’s office, Operation Lone Star’s collective efforts have resulted in more than 489,500 apprehensions of illegal immigrants and more than 37,500 criminal arrests, including more than 34,100 felony charges.

The operation has also relocated migrant groups to a number of locations, including more than 12,500 migrants who have been bused to Washington, D.C., since April 2022, along with significant numbers transported to New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, and Los Angeles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 
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Jeane
Jeane
7 months ago

I love you, Governor Abbott. I wish more governors had your tenacity. If D.C. won’t work on it someone has to. Thank you for stepping up.

Glen Allison
Glen Allison
7 months ago

Should have been done at start of Biden administration

Steven
Steven
7 months ago

Wish other states had a Great PATRIOTIC Governor like him!

SRW
SRW
7 months ago

Positive step. Enforce, rinse, repeat. 40 million times until all illegals and anchor babies are deported The estimate of 11 million from the early 90’s or there about hasn’t been upgraded so a thumbnail projection of 40 million seems reasonable to use for debate purposes. It’s time to take back what’s being stolen by invasion.

jimm
jimm
7 months ago

Texas is going to need more jails….Keep busIng them to NYC.

anna hubert
anna hubert
7 months ago

Send them back to Mexico let them deal with the mess which they deliberately create They are the ones who allow them the point of entry Wonder if they get so much per head

Jerry
Jerry
7 months ago

At least someone in power is attempting to have our back! Thank you Gov. Abbott

George C
George C
7 months ago

Should have been a done done a long time ago at least three years, instead of kissing the butts or behind of Muslim and communist countries

Jerry_M_Tx
Jerry_M_Tx
7 months ago

Go Abbott Go!I hesitate to suggest this next comment, but considering the state of the federal executive branch, I will. If Biden won’t follow the law, why should anybody else?

Mike
Mike
7 months ago

It’s good someone is actually doing something instead of creating another committee to investigate the problem of illegals.

Terri Dewell
Terri Dewell
7 months ago

You did amazing! God Bless You !

Daniel L. Marshall
Daniel L. Marshall
7 months ago

Great Job Governor Abbott I wish Arizona would get GUTS enough to do that as I’m sure we have the same amounts of Felonies and other arrests.

Kuate
Kuate
7 months ago

The president of Mexico and all the government has tides to the CARTEL,they dont run the Mexican government the CARTELS do, no way they will get rid of the CARTEL no money for them,one solution is for TEXAS to be a REPUBLIC, then we get rid of all the illegals, they are not migrants, they are ILLEGALS look up the meaning of the two words, I support the Texas Governor make it happen……

Jackie
Jackie
7 months ago

Why didn’t he enact this law sooner?? He probably should have but at least he is letting Biden know what’s what with all of these illegals!! I know, all of the jails in Texas would be full but once they are arrested, they should be sent back to their country of origin as soon as possible!!! The fact that since Joe Biden took office, we have at least 8 million new people in our population to have to care for and Democrats are not only responsible for this but seem to embrace it (except for those sanctuary cities and states who are now being overrun by illegals thanks to Governor Abbott – God bless him)!!! Keeping the border open is against the law and Joe is not doing his job which is to enforce the laws of the land!!! We will never get rid of all of these illegals because we won’t ever be able to find them again!!

TE Morse
TE Morse
7 months ago

Don’t Mess With Texas!!!!!
TRUTH!!!

Eddie
Eddie
7 months ago

As I see it, since the sleepy Joe administration is purposely circumventing written law AND the Constitution, which by the way, ol’ Joe took an oath to uphold (probably with crossed fingers behind his back), the state of Texas has every legal right to enforce those immigration laws. I pray that those on the left wake up to the reality of the Biden administration’s real end game, before this great nation totally swirls down the toilet!

Deborah
Deborah
7 months ago

Wonderful information. Thank you so much.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
7 months ago

Instead if flying them to sanctuary cities, fly them back to wherever they came from! I’m just surprised Abbott hasn’t been arrested by the DOJ for “kidnapping” conveniently followed along by CNN filmed as “breaking news”.

JPop
JPop
7 months ago

Outstanding…could use you as Michigan’s Governor…ours is worthess.

John Bass
John Bass
7 months ago

Why wasn’t any of this done a year ago? And why has it suddenly become an issue to where governor’s i.e. Nevada and Texas have decided to do something about the boarder? It seems like before this, anything that’s been done has all been for show.

Trump 2024

Phil
Phil
7 months ago

The only negative I see is that we will be hit harder in Arizona because of our govenor.

KS
KS
7 months ago

Good for Gov Abbott!! We need more governors along the south border enact and implement laws like that. The border crisis is getting out of hand, and TX is not going to sit on our hands and do nothing. If they cannot be deported, then bua them to the sanctuary cities like NYC, Chicago, or sanctuary states like California (

Deborah Wood
Deborah Wood
7 months ago

Why not have an armed guard along the border forbidding anyone to enter!

Betty
Betty
7 months ago

THANK YOU, MR. ABBOTT, IT’S ABOUT TIME, ALL GOVERNORS SHOULD DO THE SAME!!!!!!

William Evitts
William Evitts
7 months ago

In my opinion, Governor Abbott is doing the right thing. He has sworn to protect the citizens of Texas (this translates to the whole USA). If the governor did implement this law that would be a dereliction of duty, as the current federal administration has done in not securing the southern boarder. Allowing the present volume of people is unsustainable and is deleterious to citizens, the illegals and to our economy. Our leaders truly must stop politicizing this and do what is right, and fair for citizens. Plus, work to improve lives in other countries without all the stinking politics. Easier said than done…(?).

Susan
Susan
7 months ago

yes yes yes

Robert
Robert
7 months ago

Gov Abbott Bring every armed Texan to the border and tell them it is OK to defend your country and shoot the illegal bastards that are destroying our country. If there are tens of thousands of armed citizens Border Patrol couldn’t stop them along with Homeland Security. The only way you are going to end this invasion is with violence!

Jan Crenshaw
Jan Crenshaw
6 months ago

Hooray for Texas & Kudos to Governor Greg Abbott ! ! ! God Bless America & Give us more Stong Hearted MEN to save Her from the despots that are trying to destroy us !

Brad
Brad
7 months ago

Proud of Gov Abbott and legislators in Texas for what they are doing to protect the border. The Biden Admin and Democrats are a total disgrace for supporting illegal immigration.

Evie Renee Beers
Evie Renee Beers
7 months ago

I fully agree with you! Praying that other governors will follow suit and protect their own state. There is no help from our government unfortunately.

Pat R
Pat R
7 months ago

What’s wrong with this statement, “Legal experts and organizations that advocate for immigrant rights have voiced their opposition to the Texas legislation, arguing that it’s in direct opposition to the jurisdiction of the U.S. government to regulate immigration.”??
Do those LEGAL experts advocate for ‘immigrants’ when they break our law by coming across our borders illegally? If so, then those so-called Legal experts are advocating for breaking our laws. And, when the U.S. government is not doing their duty to protect our borders and our nation’s sovereignty, the states have every right to protect themselves.
What happened to state sovereignty, and states’ rights that are “supposed” to come before federal rights? What happened to protecting REAL citizens from crimes committed against them and their property by foreigners illegally entering the USA?
This is yet another assault against our Constitution to do away with it. Dems have continually ignored it and the Bill of Rights with impunity. Now Dems (at the push by OWO elitists) attack those foundational values/truths. We must not let the OWO advocates take away our God-given freedom of choice. They want us to become their slaves! How many have noticed that elitists believe they Know better than we do what is best for you and me?

Granny26
Granny26
7 months ago

Good for Texas, All the states should do that…arrest and bus them back across the border. Most are from countries other than Mexico so why does Mexico let them in at their southern border? If they let them in, they should keep them or deport back south of their border. I’m sick of my taxes being raised all the time and a lot of it going to illegals. Electrify the fence at the border.

teresa
teresa
7 months ago

biden is an imposter. the governors who have common sense should just go over his head and sent the illegals back. we don’t want or need more crime, more of our money goin to take care of them, they are over loading our system and hospitals. they are raping and stealing. do we need this crap!!!! NO

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
7 months ago

Governor Abbott is great taking a stand for his state being overrun it seems that the White House can do nothing. Keep it governor your great some more should go to Washington and keep sending them to other blue states that think the illegals are great they do until they have to support them then they get mad.

Betty
Betty
7 months ago

What took so long to enforce a BORDER SECURITY LAW? We have a puppet in the white House breaking ALL the laws of the land and he is still in the White House?!#
I just had to pay a fine and go to driving school just for going a few miles over the speed limit, people have gone to jail for as long as 30 years!!!! Simply for smoking a plant!!!!
Good GOD people!!! There is no justice! Justice and freedom for all…who have the right surname!!

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
7 months ago

Victory

A Voter
A Voter
7 months ago

GO TEXAS!!!

Donald Trump
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