In a brave move that makes the immigration fight even hotter, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a groundbreaking bill that gives state police the power to arrest people who come to the U.S. illegally. When it goes into action in March, this law will change a lot about how immigration laws are enforced, which used to be the job of the federal government.
The new law gives Texas cops the power to hold people they think are breaking the law by entering the country illegally. When these people are caught, they have to decide whether to follow a Texas judge’s order to leave the U.S. or face petty charges for illegal entry. If they don’t leave, they could be arrested again and charged with more serious felonies.
To make his point clear, Governor Abbott signed this bill in Brownsville, Texas, in front of a border fence. He said that this rule would make it much harder for people to cross into Texas illegally, predicting a drop of over 50% and possibly even 75%. He did not, however, give any solid proof for these figures.
Abbott pushed for the law’s “deterrent effect” because he thought it would stop people brought into Texas by drug gangs. This new law makes the current national conversation about immigration even more complicated. It shows how tense things are between the Biden administration and Republicans in Texas, who say the federal government is not doing a good job of handling the 1,950-mile southern border.
Texas has done a lot of things on its own, like busing over 65,000 migrants to different places in the United States since August 2022 and putting up razor wire along the Rio Grande, which has hurt some asylum seekers. In a related story, U.S. Customs and Border Protection briefly shut down two railroad border crossings in Texas because more people are entering the country on freight trains, especially in the last week.
The fact that this closure happened before Christmas and had an effect on trade shows the bigger effects of border controls. Some people who are against the bill say it’s like Arizona’s controversial immigration law from 2010, which was met with a lot of court challenges and was eventually thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court.
They say that the federal government should be in charge of immigration police and that Texas’ law will be quickly fought in court. Supporters, on the other hand, see the bill as important to stop illegal immigration, pointing out that the number of people crossing the border has been at an all-time high, with over 10,000 crossings on some days.
This law is a turning point in how Texas handles immigration. It fits with the state’s growing stand against what it sees as federal inaction. As everyone in the country waits, the legal and practical effects of this law are likely to change the way people talk about immigration policy in the US.