Don’t Mess With Texas: Senate Passes Bill Allowing Local, State Police To Arrest Illegal Immigrants

The Texas Senate on Thursday approved a bill that will give local and state police the authority to arrest illegal migrants by making it a state crime to cross illegally into the United States. The bill, SB11, enables law enforcement to arrest those who violate the law.

Under current law, state and local authorities must seek federal permission before arresting illegals.

Texas reached a record number of illegal immigrant apprehension in fiscal year 2023, with over 1.84 million apprehensions in Texas Sectors,” said state Sen. Brian Birdwell, author of the legislation. “As a result of the federal government’s unwillingness to enforce federal immigration laws and secure our southern border, Texas has stepped up and devoted time and resources to combat the unprecedented border crisis that the state is facing. SB 11 will give out troopers more authority to control the border and keep Texans safe.”

The bill passed late Thursday along party lines in a 19-12 vote, and is expected to advance following Gov. Greg Abbott’s show of support for the measure earlier this week.

First time offenders face up to one year in jail, while convicted felons with multiple illegal entries could face life in prison.

According to Lt. Gov. Dan Partrick, “This is the third time the Texas Senate has passed this critical legislation. The Senate is committed to securing the southern border and will pass this bill over and over again until it passes the Texas House, where it has died previously.”

Earlier this month, Abbott called lawmakers back for a third special session, with border security a central focus, along with school choice, public safety and prohibiting employers from forcing employees to take COVID-19 vaccines.

Mr. Birdwell said the bill aims to deter illegal crossing while encouraging immigrants to enter legally through one of the state’s 29 ports of entry, where they can be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorities.

During Tuesday’s Border Security committee hearing on the bill, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said an estimated 1.5 million immigrants cross illegally into Texas each year.

Mr. McCraw said DPS troopers could arrest about 72,000 to 75,000 illegal immigrants if the law is passed. He said DPS made 35,000 criminal arrests last year. –Epoch Times

State Democrats have responded to the bill like typical NIMBYs…

“Where do we put all the people?” asked State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa.

State Sen. César Blanco (D) said he voted “no” on SB 11 due to the existing federal laws against “unlawful entry” into the country.

“The federal government already has an offense for unlawful entry into the US, but that has not turned away desperate migrants looking for a better life,” he wrote on X. “I voted against SB 11 because this bill will only overwhelm local prisons and court systems with non-violent offenders and raise taxes on border communities while doing nothing to mitigate the humanitarian crisis on the border.”

If the bill is signed into law it will take effect Dec. 1.

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge Source

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