Texas Gov Signs Bill Making Illegal Entry from Mexico a State Crime

Article CAIRCO note: 
Why wasn't this done 30 years ago?
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
19 December 2023
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill making Texas the first state in the union to give law enforcement officers the authority to arrest migrants who illegally enter the state. The measure, SB 4...

The bill is part of a package of measures designed to decrease the flow of migrants entering the state from Mexico. The Texas Legislature passed the bills during two special sessions this fall...

The law is similar to a current federal statute under Title 8 of the United States Code 1325, which makes illegal entry into the United States a misdemeanor offense for a first-time offender and a felony for a second offense. Under the current administration, the federal statute is not pursued to any significant degree...

Also similar to proceedings carried out under federal law, migrants may agree to return to their home country as part of sentencing agreements. The process in federal courts is known as Stipulated Deportation, where a previously deported migrant waives his right to a separate immigration hearing and agrees to removal as part of the sentencing process...

The State has also increased penalties for other immigration offenses normally reserved to the federal government. The Texas Legislature passed bills, signed by Abbott, that creates a mandatory ten-year minimum prison sentence for smuggling of persons and continuous smuggling of persons. That law enhances the criminal penalties for operating a stash house and creates a mandatory five-year minimum prison sentence. It also further enhances criminal penalties for victim-related offenses that occurred during the commission of smuggling, such as assault and burglary...

A case to decide whether Abbott must remove the floating border buoy barrier installed in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass is still moving through the federal court system.


Tens of Thousands of Migrants Amass at Border - video, Geller Report, 21 December 2023.

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