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These States Are Making It Illegal for Illegal Immigrants to Enter

Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2024
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Conservative states across the country—Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, and Oklahoma—are taking border security matters into their own hands, proposing or passing legislation targeting illegal immigration.

The Oklahoma legislature just passed a bill designed to prohibit illegal immigrants from entering or living in the state.

HB 4156 states: “A person commits an impermissible occupation if the person is an alien and willfully and without permission enters and remains in the State of Oklahoma without having first obtained legal authorization to enter the United States.”

The bill passed the state House and Senate by wide margins and Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, is expected to sign it into law.

The legislature declared the issue a crisis in the state and stated in the bill: “Throughout the state, law enforcement comes into daily and increasingly frequent contact with foreign nationals who entered the country illegally or who remain here illegally.

“Often, these persons are involved with organized crime such as drug cartels, they have no regard for Oklahoma’s laws or public safety, and they produce or are involved with fentanyl distribution, sex trafficking, and labor trafficking.”

Under the new law, a conviction related to “impermissible occupation” would be considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in a county jail, a fine of up to $500, or both.

Subsequent offenses are felonies, punishable by up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

Illegal immigrants who are barred from the country or have been issued a removal order by an immigration judge, and then enter Oklahoma will face a felony charge carrying a possible sentence of up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

In all instances, those found guilty must leave Oklahoma within 72 hours of being convicted or released from custody.

The law requires police to collect fingerprints, photographs, and biometric data, which will be cross-checked with Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation databases.

“The failure of the federal government to address this issue … has turned every state into a border state,” said bill sponsor state Rep. Charles Mr. McCall said in a statement.

“Those who want to work through the process of coming to our country legally are more than welcome to come to Oklahoma; we would love to have them here. We will not reward [illegal immigration] in Oklahoma, and we will protect our state borders.”

U.S. border authorities have apprehended more than 9 million illegal immigrants nationwide under President Joe Biden, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.

Under the administration’s catch-and-release policy, many have been released into the United States and have taken up residence all over the country.

Texas’ law, Senate Bill 4, makes it a state crime to enter Texas outside legal ports of entry.

The new law was set to go into effect in March, but has been blocked and is currently tied up in the courts.

New Iowa, Tennessee, and Georgia Laws

Earlier this month, Iowa’s Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed Senate File 2340 into law.

The new law, which goes into effect July 1, makes it a misdemeanor to be in the state or attempt to enter the state after being deported, denied admission to the United States, or if an individual has an outstanding deportation order.

Being in the state illegally becomes a felony under certain circumstances such as the accused having two or more misdemeanor convictions involving drugs or crimes against a person.

As with the Texas law, it gives judges the discretion to drop the charges if the illegal immigrant agrees to return to the country from which he or she entered the United States.

“Those who come into our country illegally have broken the law, yet Biden refuses to deport them,” Ms. Reynolds stated in a news release.

“This bill gives Iowa law enforcement the power to do what he is unwilling to do: enforce immigration laws already on the books.”

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a new law this month that requires law enforcement agencies to communicate with federal immigration authorities if they discover people are in the country illegally, requiring in most cases cooperation in the process of identifying, catching, detaining, and deporting them.

The law takes effect July 1.

“When there is an interaction with law enforcement, it’s important that the appropriate authorities are notified of the status of that individual,” Mr. Lee, a Republican, told reporters after signing the bill into law. “I think that makes sense. So, I’m in support of that legislation.”

Members of the Tennessee House blamed President Biden’s lack of border enforcement for the necessity of the law.

“President Biden’s administration has delivered this pain to our doorsteps,” Tennessee state Rep. Chris Todd said on the House floor.

In Georgia, lawmakers passed House Bill 1105 that would require jailers to check the immigration status of inmates.

The bill is part of an ongoing political response to the February slaying of nursing student Laken Riley on the University of Georgia campus, allegedly by an illegal immigrant from Venezuela.

The man, Jose Antonio Ibarra, was arrested in February on murder and assault charges in the death of the 22-year-old.

Immigration officials say Mr. Ibarra, 26, crossed into the United States illegally in 2022. The Department of Homeland Security confirmed to Sen. Lindsey Graham(R-S.C.)  that Mr. Ibarra was paroled into the country illegally due to “capacity problems” at border detention facilities

The Georgia bill was sent to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk on April 3 and awaits his signature, at which time most measures would take effect immediately.

Louisiana, Arizona, New Hampshire

Texas’ neighbor, Louisiana, is considering the passage of SB 388, a GOP-led bill that would allow state police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants within the state.

The law passed the chamber on April 8 along party lines and headed to the House, also controlled by Republicans.

“Louisiana is one step closer to securing our border and addressing our illegal immigration crisis,” Republican state Sen. Valarie Hodges, the bill’s sponsor, posted on X.

The battleground state of Arizona passed a law similar to Texas’ HB 4, but its Democratic Gov. Katy Hobbs vetoed it.

That inspired the Legislature to draft a ballot measure to be put to voters in November that would require businesses to use E-verify. E-verify is a voluntary federal online service for employers to check an employee’s eligibility to work in the United States against Department of Homeland Security and Social Security records.
New Hampshire, which is Republican-led, passed SB 504 allowing police to bring criminal trespassing charges against people suspected of illegally entering the United States from Canada. The measure must be approved by the House to advance.

Cities and Counties

Cities and counties in red and blue states are also pushing back in creative ways to stop illegal immigrants from coming into their jurisdictions.

“They’re basically dumped on their doorstep,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, a “pro-immigrant, low-immigration” think tank.

In June 2023, New York City under Democratic Mayor Eric Adams sued more than 30 New York local governments alleging they issued unlawful executive orders prohibiting temporary housing for illegal immigrants in their jurisdictions.

Counties such as Orange and Rockland in upstate New York were successful in using local zoning laws to stop the mayor from busing illegal immigrants to live in their hotels.

The state Supreme Court granted Rockland a temporary restraining order against the mayor’s plan after the county argued that local zoning laws bar hotels from operating as shelters.

Orange County was granted a similar ruling.

Likewise, zoning was used by the city of Taunton, Massachusetts, to stop illegal immigrants from living in hotels, Ms. Vaughan said.

In May 2023, the state was paying millions of dollars to house some 120 homeless and migrant families at a local hotel long-term.

Taunton city leaders filed a lawsuit against the hotel, claiming it violated its occupancy limit for nearly four months. The city aims to collect $114,600 in fines.

Residents in these small communities often struggle with housing and obtaining services that illegal immigrants get for free, Ms. Vaughan noted.

“Now paying taxes, essentially, to support these illegal migrants in their town. The schools have to accommodate them. And that’s a huge cost on the local taxpayers,” she said.

In Colorado’s Mesa County, commissioners passed a resolution in February declaring the county a “non-sanctuary county,” and denying shelter and services to illegal aliens sent there by the state or federal government, she said.

Commissioners also passed a resolution to send a letter to Denver Mayor Mike Johnston informing him the county doesn’t plan to help the city deal with its illegal immigrant surge.

Ms. Vaughan said that she believes other states are waiting to see what happens with some of Texas’ laws, such as SB 4, which are aimed at deterring illegal immigration.

“I think the feeling among most state and local officials that I’ve talked to about it is that they are watching and waiting and hoping that the court will draw some boundaries for them on what they can and cannot do,” she said.

Florida’s Laws

When it comes to making life more difficult for illegal immigrants through legislation, Florida has proven as aggressive as Texas.

Besides beefing up law enforcement to help the U.S. Coast Guard spot migrants and sending the Florida National Guard to Texas, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has approved laws to deter illegal aliens from staying in the Sunshine State.

The Republican governor signed SB 1718 in 2023, which was criticized by the left as one of the most anti-illegal immigrant pieces of legislation in the country.

The law mandates that private businesses with 25 or more employees use E-verify, penalizes employers for hiring illegal aliens, and enhances penalties for human smuggling.

Additionally, the bill prohibits issuing a driver’s license to anyone who cannot prove they are lawfully in the United States, and it invalidates ID cards issued to illegal aliens in other states.

Local governments are barred from issuing IDs to illegal aliens, and hospitals must collect and submit data on the costs of providing health care to illegal aliens.

Leftwing groups quickly sued to block portions of the law.

This year, Florida doubled down on legislation..

HB 1451 prohibits counties from funding groups to issue IDs for illegal aliens or accepting IDs of those known to be in the country illegally.
SB 1036 enhances penalties for illegal aliens who are deported and then return to commit a crime in Florida. HB 1589 increases penalties for the offense of driving without a valid driver’s license.

In Florida, Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay, whose jurisdiction covers the Florida Keys, has firsthand knowledge of the drain illegal immigrants have on a community.

Mr. Ramsay cheered the efforts of both Florida and Texas to stop the “invasion” of foreigners.

“Without question, deterrents work,” he told The Epoch Times.

In his county stretching across the Florida Keys, that’s important because local law enforcement often has to pick up the slack when there aren’t enough Border Patrol agents to deal with boatloads of illegal immigrants, he said.

Last year, when hundreds of Haitian and Cuban immigrants came ashore, Mr. Ramsay said his resources were diverted to deal with them that would typically be used to help citizens of Monroe County.

“So it left the locals to have to deal with all these migrants who were coming in who had medical attention, food, sheltering issues, transportation because there was no real [federal] system here,” he said.

If an illegal immigrant has a medical emergency and must be flown to a hospital, that takes away from serving resident taxpayers, he said.

The veteran law enforcement officer of 37 years says the experience has taught him it’s all about messaging.

Illegal aliens talk to each other about which states are friendly and give the best benefits, which cities are sanctuary cities, and which states are more likely to take action against them, he said.

“Thus, we see Florida with a lower amount of migrants coming here,” he said.

But that message has fallen on deaf ears in some places in Florida.

In March, the city of Hialeah in southern Florida voted to admonish the Biden administration for its open border policy because of an influx of illegal immigrants that have drained their resources.

Hialeah’s mayor and city council got creative. It passed an ordinance restricting the rental of RVs, which they believed were being used as housing by illegal aliens from Cuba and Haiti.

The Biden administration came up with an under-the-radar approach to illegal immigration using parole authority.

The parole policy was created years ago to allow presidents to let people in on a case-by-case basis for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”

The Biden administration, which has been using it on a mass scale, has been criticized for its unprecedented use of the authority.

Behind the scenes, 326,000 illegal immigrants who have been shepherded in under the parole system have landed in Miami, with thousands more arriving at other locations such as Houston, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

This month, Mr. DeSantis called the program “illegal” and vowed to fight it.

Texas Efforts

The Texas border with Mexico, snaking some 1,254 miles along the Rio Grande, is the epicenter of America’s border crisis.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s perpetual battle with the Biden administration’s open border policies thrust Texas into the limelight, with other red-state governors lending support.

The Lone Star State has focused on deterrents and enforcement, spending more than $4.5 billion on Operation Lone Star since 2021, with lawmakers allocating another $5.1 billion in 2023.

The program pays for a state-built border wall, more police officers and Texas National Guard members at the border, as well as resources to prosecute and jail illegal immigrants on state charges such as trespassing and evading arrest.

SB 4 was scheduled to go into effect on March 5 but was put on hold after the Biden administration and left-wing nonprofit organizations sued.

Illegal immigrants who enter Texas outside legal ports of entry can be arrested on Class B misdemeanor charges and sentenced to up to six months in jail under SB 4. However, repeat offenders could face second-degree felony charges and sentences of up to 20 years in prison.

Judges are granted leeway under the new Texas law to drop the charges if the illegal immigrants agree to return to Mexico.

The U.S. Supreme Court briefly allowed the law to go into effect after sending it back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The appeals court then halted enforcement while it considers the latest appeal.

Texas has also built several more miles of border wall, and used shipping containers and razor wire to block easy access for illegal immigrants who cross the river from Mexico. The state has added buoys in the middle of the Rio Grande to deter entry as well.

Mr. Abbott has arguably pushed the problem of illegal immigration to the forefront of American politics through Operation Lone Star by busing more than 100,000 illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, and Los Angeles, as well as the District of Columbia since 2022. Sanctuary jurisdictions have laws that shield illegal immigrants from federal immigration authorities.

With illegal immigrants also being transported to those cities by the Biden administration, the cities quickly became overwhelmed, putting a strain on budgets and wreaking havoc on community resources to provide food, shelter, and medical care.

In New York City, illegal immigrants are housed in hotels and even tents. A plan to use local school gyms as temporary shelters was scrapped after sparking outrage from parents.

New York City’s Democratic Mayor Eric Adams has been a fierce critic of the Texas Republican governor for exporting illegal immigrants, calling him a “bully.”

In January, Mr. Adams signed an executive order stipulating that buses with illegal immigrants must arrive between 8:30 a.m. and noon and give a 32-hour notice to the city.

New York City also filed a lawsuit targeting 17 bus companies for transporting illegal immigrants to the city that same month.
The mayor asked state leaders for help in resettling 68,000 illegal immigrants in the city’s care as of December 2023.

Last summer, New York City faced a multi-billion budget gap due to the growing crisis and initiated cuts to police and fire departments, according to a New York City press release.

During a December 2023 press conference, Mr. Adams acknowledged that “residents are angry” and tired of the crisis.

“It is clear that for the time being, this crisis is going to be carried by the cities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Abbott’s tactics have become increasingly defiant.

In a dramatic showdown this January, the Texas National Guard seized Shelby Park, which sits on the border, and placed a wire gate at the entrance, blocking U.S. Border Patrol agents from entering unless it was to use the boat ramp for river patrols.

The 47-acre park, owned by the city of Eagle Pass, was being used as a staging area for Border Patrol agents under the direction of the Biden administration to process a wave of thousands of illegal immigrants crossing the Rio Grande in December 2023.

Now, the drainage area inside the park, once teeming with thousands of illegal immigrants, is empty; the Rio Grande flows quietly, primarily undisturbed by unlawful crossings.

Most recently, there have been calls for Mr. Abbott to call a special session to create the Texas Division of Homeland Security to coordinate efforts to deter and stop illegal immigration.

Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe, whose Texas county borders Mexico, was one of those calling for the new Homeland Security Division.

He believes that SB 4 and Operation Lone Star are contributing to the recent slowdown of illegal crossings in Texas, shifting them to Arizona and California.

CBP data show that border encounters across Texas during fiscal year 2024 through February are down substantially compared to the same period in 2023.

Meanwhile, encounters in Arizona and California have risen significantly during the same period.

“I think it’s a combination of things,” Mr. Coe told The Epoch Times.

Texas’ governor “finally had enough” and stood his ground at Shelby Park by blocking the Biden administration from using the location as an illegal migrant processing center, he said.

Another significant deterrent is the state program to help county sheriffs increase arrests of illegal aliens on misdemeanor trespassing charges.

“That has helped a lot,” Mr. Coe said.

His county has prosecuted the highest number of illegal immigrants for trespass and related misdemeanors under Operation Lone Star.

In 2019 and 2020, Kinney County dealt with 254 and 132 misdemeanor cases, respectively, mostly involving U.S. citizens. While the U.S. citizen caseload has remained somewhat constant, because of illegal immigration, the total number of misdemeanor cases shot up to 6,799 in 2022 and 5,826 in 2023, according to numbers obtained from the county attorney’s office.

While Mr. Abbott attributes Texas’ aggressive stance on illegal immigration as the reason for the drop in border crossings, the state doesn’t deter businesses from hiring those entering the country unlawfully.

“That’s one thing Texas does not have,” Ms. Vaughan said, adding that more than a dozen other states require employers to use E-verify to check for employment eligibility in the United States.

The Biden Effect

But as hard as states are working to deter illegal migration, detractors say the Biden administration has been equally diligent in working to allow them into the country.

On taking office, President Biden immediately revoked policies established under the Trump administration that curtailed illegal immigration, such as “Remain in Mexico,” which forced asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases were pending.

Since then, illegal immigration into the United States has skyrocketed, overwhelming Border Patrol.

“The Biden administration has let in millions of people in the last four years, and they’re spreading out all over the country,” said Ms. Vaughan.

Conservatives contend President Biden and his allies are incentivizing illegal immigration and the massive wave of illegal immigrants constitutes “weaponized migration,” a form of unconventional warfare meant to destabilize and weaken America—and provide future Democratic voters.

Those on the left view migration as a global human right in a world where borders shouldn’t exist. They contend that illegal immigrants, or “newcomers” as the city of Denver calls them, fleeing poverty and political turmoil help America’s economy.

Liberal states aligned with the president, such as California, offer free health care to illegal immigrants, while blue cities, such as New York City, provide free housing plus $1,500 per month stipends for illegal aliens.

A study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a conservative group, examined Venezuelan migration under President Biden.

The report concluded that Venezuelans were encouraged to illegally enter the United States through various policies such as catch-and-release, parole, and temporary protected status.

It stated that Biden administration policy has driven illegal immigration just as much as economic conditions under Venezuela’s authoritarian regime.

The report cited mass release into the United States as a motivator for illegal migration and detention as a deterrent.

The report showed several instances where illegal immigration dropped or climbed in reaction to policies that were more strict or more lenient.

One example was a dramatic drop in encounters with Venezuelans in February of 2022, following the Biden administration’s announcement that Venezuelans who entered the U.S. illegally would be returned to Mexico.

“When the Biden administration announces tougher enforcement policies, the number of encounters drops,” the report stated.

Reprinted with permission from The Epoch Times by Darlene McCormick Sanchez.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AMAC or AMAC Action.

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Jodi Schmollinger
Jodi Schmollinger
1 month ago

I wish Indiana would be on that list. Biden & the illegal invaders have to be stopped & stopped now. Ship them to the Dems mansion & let them take care of them. This issue has been way out of control for years. It’s time to put an end to it. Whatever happened to coming to the US like our ancestors did LEGALLY none of this sneaking across the border BS. We The AMERICAN people are FED UP with this BS

Sue
Sue
1 month ago

It’s about time. So sad that the states have to take up the slack of the anti-active government won’t do. States have more guts than the POTUS and his cronies.
If the communists/democrats don’t like it they need to move somewhere that is conducive to their misdirected beliefs. Bet those places don’t want them either.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago

Bravo!
Now it’s time for all Conservatives to get together and stop this invasion!

invictus
invictus
1 month ago

Have the illegal intruders-invaders go directly to NYC’s elitist homes to squat and poop in. Those elite parasites are often away for months at a time.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 month ago

Democrats love illegals… so long as they aren’t living in their white, white, rich, elitist gated communities that is anymore then they’d like the bought off dregs being bribed to vote them are. You know who you are, “lol”.

uncleferd
uncleferd
1 month ago

It’s great to see Americans in our conservative states becoming so dedicated to ridding themselves of people who come to trespass, commit crimes and sponge off of our country as though it is their right to do us harm. Highest praise.

Rich
Rich
1 month ago

OK. This all might sound good (to American citizens) but the communist/democrats don’t like these states taking charge. The next thing you know they all will be boycotted! Does that mean the illegals will boycott them also?

izitnottrue
izitnottrue
1 month ago

Shame on the Democrats for supporting open borders. May they all lose the offices that they hold.

SpecOps
SpecOps
1 month ago

We need to assist these Border States as well and any other State taking a Stand against this Corrupt President and his cronies. We must stand the line at the Border and Keep them out BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 month ago

All Blue States only

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
1 month ago

I do not blame one of those states to say enough is enough and stop the illegals from taking over the states, this is all Biden’s fault for turning this country into a third world country he thinks everyone should allow these people into this country and where does all the money come from well it is taxpayer money that supports these people send them to all the blue cities that want them other states should be able to say we do not want them send them to sanctuary cities they can go bankrupt let them foot the bill for them.

Ken Paul
Ken Paul
1 month ago

Kudos to those states that show the moral courage to do the right thing by actually following U.S. Immigration Law! Shame on those states keeping illegals to pad their census and voting rolls. You are unamerican!

Helen Cowell
Helen Cowell
29 days ago

I’m having a hard time reading your e mail it is not moving smoothly it is jerky and goes back to what I have already read. It use to be smooth and easy to read I hope that this can be fixed.

Howard Wemple
Howard Wemple
29 days ago

We the People still must vote out ALL the Uniparty traitors, and replace them with bona fide America First/MAGA people.

gus
gus
1 month ago

Impeach the traitor, Biden

Carolyn Foster
Carolyn Foster
1 month ago

So proud of these states. I’m in Arizona. Sure wish they would do it! It has to end or we will be in deep trouble!

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 month ago

Placing a band aid on an open fracture will not work The fracture must be fixed properly The doctor in the house is not qualified Playing the ping pong is not an answer for they will land on someone’s turf The same old would work Keep all without the legal documents out It always worked Eerie how all the screamers for rights are mum on slave trade and sex trafficking not to mention tons of fentanyl But we will be double masking when “pandemic” strikes

Rosemary
Rosemary
16 days ago

Why must you BLOCK easy reading of COMMENTS with all your blue and red circle STUFF, I find it annoying!!!!

Missy B
Missy B
1 month ago

So, in Oklahoma, if an illegal enters the state after being ‘deported’, and he/she returns to OK, there will be a fine and possible jail time? In jail, the taxpayers are paying for the illegal to remain in the US!…

Pauly Mac
Pauly Mac
1 month ago

LOL troll, please move to California

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