Texas is poised to enable local police to do what the Biden administration has
until recently appeared reluctant or unwilling to do: send illegal aliens packing.
The Texas legislature passed Republican state Rep. David Spiller’s House Bill 4 in an 83-63 vote early Thursday morning. If harmonized with a similar bill recently passed by the state Senate and ratified by Gov. Greg Abbott, HB4 would enable police to arrest and oust illegal aliens.
In addition to making illegal entry into the Lone Star State a class B misdemeanor, the bill would allow foreign nationals who refuse to leave the country to be charged with a second-degree felony, which carries prison time of up to 20 years,
Illegal aliens found “at any time” who have previously been convicted of two or more misdemeanors involving drugs, crimes against a person, or both would be charged with a third-degree felony.
suggested that “House Bill 4 is a Texas solution to a Texas problem. It is a humane, logical, and efficient approach to a problem created by the Biden Administration [sic] continued failure and refusal to secure our border. Not only does it not overburden our criminal justice system, it should be less costly than detaining many people that we are currently expending funds to house.”
“There is nothing unfair about ordering someone back from where they came if they arrived here illegally” added Spiller.
KVUE-TV reported that Ana Gonzales of the Texas AFL-CIO, a state federation of labor unions, claimed the measure “will hurt construction companies and workers,” adding that “workers deserve dignity and respect, regardless of their immigration status.”
Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D)
intimated HB4 would effectively make police officers judges, adding that officers will inevitably target suspects on the basis of their skin color.
Hinojosa and other Democratic lawmakers made various attempts to neuter the bill with various amendments but largely did so in vain. They did, however, get through a prohibition on arrests of migrants who are seeking treatment in facilities for rape victims.
Rep. Cody Harris (R) reportedly moved to block additional amendments on the bill, rendering at least one Democrat apoplectic,
“My community is being attacked on a daily g*****n basis,” said Democratic Rep. Armando Walle. “I’ve been sitting there my whole g*****n time listening to y’all motherf******. It pisses me off. … Y’all don’t understand that.”
After its likely passage in the state Senate, Gov. Greg Abbott, who has already
expressed support for the bill, is expected to ratify HB4.
The New York Times
indicated that the bill’s enactment will trigger a federal court battle over immigration as well as a possible second look at a 2012 Supreme Court decision that favored the federal government over states regarding the establishment of immigration policy.
“The core question is whether the states can make it a crime to violate federal immigration law and detain an alien for violating that law,” said Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at South Texas College of Law Houston.
Thursday, the Texas Legislature also advanced House Bill 6, a proposal to spend $1.5 billion on 50 miles of border wall, to the state Senate.
2.47 million illegal aliens stole over the U.S.-Mexico border into the U.S. in fiscal year 2023, a 100% increase as compared to 2019. Another 2.37 million entered last year.
An overview of the border crisis
circulated this week by Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, noted that of the over 7.5 million encounters nationwide, there have been 1.7 million known gotaways who evaded U.S. Border Patrol.
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