Texas will arrest those who illegally crossed the border - ForumDaily
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Texas will arrest those who illegally crossed the border

On December 18, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law that allows police to arrest undocumented immigrants crossing the border illegally and gives local judges the power to expel such migrants from the country, reports AL.

Photo: IStock

Opponents called the measure Texas' most dramatic attempt to control immigration since a 2010 Arizona law that critics called the "Show Me Your Papers" bill. It was largely rejected by the US Supreme Court. Texas law is also likely to face rapid legal challenges.

Immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility. But Texas Republicans under President Joe Biden are increasingly blurring those lines. They say his administration is not doing enough to stop people from entering the country illegally. Texas has flown more than 65 migrants to cities across America and laid razor wire along the banks of the Rio Grande, trapping and injuring some asylum seekers.

On the subject: Homemade bombs are being planted on the US-Mexico border

On Dec. 18, U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporarily closed two rail border crossings in Texas to redeploy officers to help process migrants. Railroad operators said the closure of Eagle Pass and El Paso would hamper trade in the run-up to Christmas.

Possible arrests

The new law signed by Abbott allows any Texas law enforcement officer to arrest people suspected of entering the country illegally. Once in custody, they could either agree to be ordered by a Texas judge to leave the United States or face prosecution on misdemeanor charges related to illegal entry. Migrants who do not comply could face rearrest on more serious charges.

Legal experts called the measure a violation of the U.S. government's immigration control powers. The Mexican government also condemned the measure. In the US, some immigrant rights groups have criticized Biden for not stopping Texas' aggressive border measures sooner.

Criticism of the new law

Thirty former U.S. immigration judges who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations signed a letter this month condemning the measure as unconstitutional.

“All Texans must stand up and demand the repeal of this measure, which will undoubtedly lead to mass family separation,” said Priscilla Olivares, an attorney and strategist at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Antonio.

During a debate in the Texas House, GOP Rep. David Spiller pushed back against concerns that the law would be used as bait to round up immigrants across the state. He said enforcement will primarily be in border counties. He rejected Democratic attempts to narrow the law.

“This doesn’t mean, ‘Get everyone who is here illegally and send them back to Mexico,’” he said.

Under bilateral and international agreements, Mexico is required to accept deportations of its own citizens, but not those of other countries. Under Texas law, migrants ordered to leave the country will be sent to ports of entry on the Mexican border, even if they are not Mexican citizens.

“The Mexican government categorically rejects any measures that would allow local or state authorities to detain or deport Mexicans or members of other nationalities on Mexican soil,” Mexico’s foreign affairs department said in a statement.

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