On Monday, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott has now ratified a bill that criminalizes unauthorized entry into the state, thereby empowering state authorities to implement additional measures aimed at border security in the midst of the persistent issue of illegal immigration.
Under President Joe Biden, millions of unauthorized immigrants have been allowed to enter the United States, with many traversing the Texas-Mexico border.
The legislation is being introduced at this time. In response, Abbott has bused tens of thousands of unauthorized immigrants across the nation and contested the Biden administration’s proposal to erect barriers to prevent irregular border crossings.
The legislation, which would designate unauthorized crossing of the Texas-Mexico border as a state misdemeanor and thereby empower local police to enforce immigration laws, was initially introduced to Abbott by Texas Republicans in November.
The legislation will grant Texas the authority to repatriate individuals who unlawfully enter the state from Mexico, thus constituting a clear contradiction to the catch-and-release approach presently implemented by the Biden administration.
As per the governor’s office, the legislation will establish “illegal entry into this state from a foreign nation as a criminal offense.”
The legislation imposes severe penalties of up to twenty years in prison on those who commit the offense of illegal reentry, which is designed to deter repeated attempts to enter Texas.
Additionally, it offers a means to mandate the repatriation of a criminal to the foreign country from which they originated or attempted to enter the United States.
The measure has encountered opposition from Democrats who argue that state enforcement of immigration law violates the Constitution. Conversely, Republicans contend that the federal government has failed to adequately secure the border.
Abbott also endorsed two additional bills, one of which allocated more than $1 billion for border security, including barriers, and the other of which imposed harsher penalties for human trafficking.