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Texas Makes Illegal Crossings a State Crime

If only the feds would enforce their laws.

Deep in the heart of Texas, state lawmakers have done what the Biden administration has yet to manage: allow law enforcement officers to do their jobs at the border. Governor Greg Abbott signed into law SB 4, which makes crossing the border illegally a state crime in Texas and allows for the continued construction of the border wall.

It was a highly publicized photo op: Joining Governor Abbott and several legislative leaders in making the announcement were Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) President Brandon Judd, Adjutant General of Texas Major General Thomas Suelzer, and the Border Czar. No, not that one, Texas Border Czar Mike Banks.

Texas Talks Back

GettyImages-1867607555 immigration

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Those who cross the border illegally in Texas can now land a sentence of up to 20 years in prison or can be deported to the foreign nation from where they came. At the same time, Texas added immunity provisions to keep local and state government officials, employees, citizens, and even local construction contractors involved in barrier building safe from what will surely be a maelstrom of federal government lawsuits. While Biden is biding his timely response, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already leveled a complaint against the state.

“The bill overrides bedrock constitutional principles and flouts federal immigration law while harming Texans, in particular Brown and Black communities,” claimed Adriana Pinon, legal director of the ACLU’s Texas chapter.

Ironically, if the federal government would enforce its immigration laws, states would have no reason to create their own solutions. “It’s a landmark bill that allows Texas to protect Texans and to send illegal immigrants back, and to prosecute and incarcerate those that refuse to leave,” said Republican state Rep. David Spiller during a debate on the bill. US Customs data shows border patrol agents encountered over 2.5 million unauthorized migrants in 2023.

If Abbott is right, his law could deter illegal immigrants in the US through Texas by “well over 50%, maybe 75%.” And somewhere in Gracie Mansion, New York City Mayor Eric Adams is quietly praying that Abbot has solved his overflowing illegal migrant issue as well. Not only does he have a hot illegal immigrant mess on his hands, but citizens are also protesting, and now he has a whole lot of unaccompanied minors who need special housing, schooling, and babysitting.

Whack-a-Mole

The bill takes effect in March of 2024 and has sent illegals hunkered down in Mexico into a desperate Hail Mary attempt to get across the border before it becomes a state crime with financial penalties and jail time. They are on the move. The New York Post was on the ground in Piedras Negras looking for migrant feedback on the new law.

“We need to get to America fast,” said hopeful Fernando Valencia, “With the new laws in Texas, we have a better chance of getting into America now than if we wait.” Valencia hopes to get a job driving a truck.

But the best news for the Lone Star State is that most of the people the Post spoke with wanted to head to the Big Apple, where other relatives have holed up. “I’m excited to go to New York,” Alexander Mendez, 23, said. “I’ve been traveling for two months. I want to explore New York, work, and get a better life.”

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