Greg Abbott to make illegal border crossings a state crime in new Texas bill

Senate Bill 4 was approved by Texas lawmakers last month.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
On Sunday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that he would sign a bill into law that would make it a crime for illegal immigrants to be in the state of Texas. He said that the bill would grant police officers in every agency the authority to arrest migrants entering the state illegally.

The move comes as the U.S. southern border struggles to contain the historic mass influx of illegal immigrants at the hands of President Biden's open border policies.

Gov. Abbott (R) made the announcement while speaking to Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures" in a segment about the border crisis.

"Texas is having to step up and do even more to make sure that we deny illegal entry into the state of Texas," Abbott said.

"As a result, in two weeks I'll be signing a new law in the state of Texas that will make it illegal for people to enter the state of Texas from another country illegally, and authorizing every peace officer in the state of Texas to arrest those people entering our country."

The pending legislation, Senate Bill 4, was approved by Texas lawmakers last month, per The Texas Tribune.

Over the past few years, the Republican governor has had to develop creative plans to thwart the invasion at the US-Southern border which began when Biden took over the White House in 2021.

Abbott told Bartiromo that because of the actions his administration has taken to help secure the border, Texas is no longer the number one entry point for illegal immigrants. Examples he gave were the installment of razor wires and the state building its own border wall.

Gov. Abbott also created Operation Lone Star in 2021, which allows state agencies such as the Texas National Guard and Texas State Troopers to aid in securing the US-Mexico border. 

With the announcement of Abbott's new law, all police officers in the state of Texas will now be allowed to aid in efforts. Current law only allows government agencies to take action at the border.

Because of his efforts, Abbott told the Fox News host that other Southern border states such as Arizona and California have seen an influx in illegal entries as cartels have had to alter their routes.

The Tuscon, Arizona border sector has been inundated with a massive surge of illegal immigrants over the past couple of weeks. On Friday, US Border Patrol and Customs announced that they would be temporarily shutting down the port of entry in Lukeville to help thwart the surge, according to the Washington Times.

The recent surge comes after data released by Border Patrol last month revealed historic numbers of illegal crossings under the Biden administration at the hands of the president's open border policies.

The US-Mexico border has seen more than 2 million illegal crossings within the past year, with more than 6 million encounters since Joe Biden became president in 2021. 

Apprehensions of people who are on the terrorist watch list are nearly double last year's record total. According to the CBP data, 172 non-citizens who were on the terrorist watchlist were apprehended at the border, which was an increase from 2022's record year of 98. Before 2021, the highest number was six in 2018, and it has skyrocketed since the Biden administration took over.

Total encounters for enforcement officials was 434,562 higher than in 2022 at a total of 3,201,144 for FY 2023. Since 2020, the total encounters have continued to increase, with 646,822 total encounters in 2020, 1,956,519 a year later, and 2,766,582 two years later.

Former President Donald Trump, who is the 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner, recently warned about a massive caravan of illegal immigrants headed to the United States. In November, Trump spoke alongside Abbott, who endorsed him, and the former president vowed to make border security a top priority if he were to take back the White House in 2025.
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