Texas Makes Illegal Immigration A State Crime

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed three new immigration-related bills into law, including one that made it a state crime for illegal aliens to enter Texas — which will allow state law enforcement to arrest them.

The legislation, SB 4, is the first of its kind in the nation, and was signed into law on Monday at a massive event along the southern border in Brownsville, Texas. Alongside Abbott at the event were Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick (R), National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) President Brandon Judd and several state lawmakers.

The Texas state legislature passed the bill during the fourth Special Session. The measure makes it a criminal offense to illegally enter Texas from a foreign nation resulting in sentences of up to 20 years in prison, and allows state law enforcement to deport illegal aliens back to the foreign country from which they entered.

The law also gives local officials, state officials, government employees and government contractors immunity from lawsuits targeting the new law.

It will also give illegal aliens the ability to cooperate with law enforcement by agreeing to return to their home country, which is a process known as Stipulated Deportation. Penalties for immigration-related offenses, which are normally dealt with by the federal government, will also be increased. The law builds off of several previously passed laws that already had increased the criminal penalties for illegal immigration.

This is just the latest in a long line of steps taken by Abbott and his administration in their efforts to increase border security through the use of state authorities, as the Biden administration has consistently refused to enforce immigration laws since President Joe Biden took office.

As American Greatness noted, “Federal immigration officials, such as ICE and Border Patrol, have been ordered to stand down and not arrest illegals, instead largely acting as escorts to help them enter the country.”

Several of Abbott’s efforts have already been challenged in court by the Biden administration, including a massive buoy border barrier constructed in the Rio Grande designed to deter illegal crossings into Texas through the river. That case is still making its way through the court system, as Texas has appealed a recent decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that ordered them to remove the buoys.

“The 5th Cir. Court of Appeals’ denial of Texas’ sovereign authority to secure the border with floating marine barriers is clearly wrong. AG Paxton & I will seek an immediate rehearing by the entire court. We’ll go to SCOTUS if needed to protect Texas from Biden’s open borders,” Abbott wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

It is likely that the Biden administration will challenge the new anti-illegal immigration law as well.