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Texas Signs Law Allowing the Arrest of Illegal Border Migrants

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has enacted legislation permitting state law enforcement officials to detain individuals suspected of unauthorized entry across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Under Senate Bill 4, individuals who enter or attempt to enter Texas from a foreign nation at any location other than a lawful port of entry, and who are classified as aliens as per federal law, would be committing a Class B misdemeanor.

This offense can lead to up to 180 days in jail and/or a maximum fine of $2,000. The bill elevates this to a state-jail felony, punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail and an optional fine of up to $10,000, if the individual has been previously convicted of illegal entry from a foreign nation.

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Additionally, SB4 specifies that a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $4,000, would be applicable if an individual enters, attempts to enter, or is found in the state after being denied admission to, excluded, deported, or removed from the United States.

Moreover, if the person had departed from the United States while an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal was outstanding, they would also be subject to this misdemeanor as well.

In cases of illegal reentry, the offense becomes a third-degree felony, involving two to 10 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000, under certain conditions. This escalates to a second-degree felony, with a sentence of two to 20 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000, if the individual was removed following a felony conviction.

The bill also includes provisions to issue orders requiring individuals arrested for these offenses to return to their country of origin. These orders can be issued instead of continuing prosecution or entering an adjudication, and are contingent on various factors, including the individual’s agreement and lack of prior convictions related to illegal entry or reentry.

Furthermore, inmates serving sentences for illegal reentry or refusal to comply with an order to return to their nation of origin are ineligible for release on parole or to mandatory supervision.

The legislation represents the aggressive shift in Texas’ approach on border security under the Biden administration. Earlier this month Abbott announced the series of sweeping measures geared towards curbing the record flow of illegal aliens coming across the southern border. Abbott told Fox News that he would be enacting new border control measures almost immediately.

“Well, I’ll tell you a couple of things very interesting. For one, the problem is extraordinarily bad. The numbers are high and that is because Joe Biden continues to lay out the welcome mat, welcoming illegal immigrants into the United States of America,” Abbott said.

In terms of liability and indemnification, SB4 provides immunity for state or local government officials, employees, or contractors from liability for damages arising from actions taken to enforce the bill’s provisions. The state and local governments are also required to indemnify these individuals for damages arising from federal law-related actions.

READ 19 COMMENTS
  • Madd says:

    Arrest every damn one of them and bar them from ever coming back. Stop spending my money on illegals. I don’t owe them shit!

  • malady says:

    Not any of those illegals are being vetted, and that puts our country at a huge risk of inside terrorism. Texas is the only one seeing this, and it is time for all States to back Abbot now, he is doing what President Joe Biden refuses to do.

  • April says:

    Many illegals are already entering at a legal point of entry and released by BP onto buses. We know they are not legitimate asylum cases. They should be putting the judges at those points of entry, evaluating them and sending them back if they are so judged. They should camp out in Mexico or in line awaiting court. Any gotaways should be automatically shipped back to Mexico. Why should Texas pay to house and feed them even in jail?

  • Patrick J Borush says:

    too lenient, first offense needs to be their minimal felony and subsequent violations heavier felonies with mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years with HARD labor and release to nation of origin with lifetime bar on reentry on just a first offense! STOP REWARDING CRIMINALS, COME CORRECT OR DONT COME AT ALL!

  • A. Michaels says:

    Good on ya’ Texas!

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