Texas Governor Enforces Immigration as State Crime with Recent Legislation

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Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent signing of SB 4 into law in Texas has stirred significant controversy and fear within the state’s Latino community. 

This legislation, set to take effect in March, makes entering Texas illegally a state crime, further intensifying the ongoing legal battle between the state and the federal government over immigration policies.

SB 4 grants local law enforcement the authority to arrest migrants and enables judges to issue orders for their removal to Mexico. 

The law’s passage has sparked condemnation from civil rights organizations and immigration advocacy groups, who view it as a severe and unwarranted measure that could disproportionately affect Texas’s large Latino population, constituting 40% of the state.

The clash between Texas Gov. Abbott and the Biden administration regarding measures to address illegal immigration along the US-Mexico border has escalated due to the rising influx of migrants. 

This surge has strained both local and federal resources, prompting measures such as the temporary suspension of operations at international railway crossing bridges in Eagle Pass and El Paso.

Texas County Executives’ Appeal

texas-governor-enforces-immigration-as-state-crime-with-recent-legislation
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent signing of SB 4 into law in Texas has stirred significant controversy and fear within the state’s Latino community.

Critics, including Democratic House members and civil liberties organizations like the ACLU, argue that SB 4 encroaches upon federal jurisdiction on immigration matters. They draw parallels to Arizona’s past immigration status provision, which the US Supreme Court mostly rejected in 2012, affirming that immigration policy falls under federal purview.

In defense of the law’s constitutionality, the Republican author of SB 4 maintains its legitimacy. Some voices within law enforcement, like Kevin F. Lawrence of the Texas Municipal Police Association, have expressed support, citing the potential for SB 4 to equip local authorities with more effective tools.

However, opposition remains fierce. The ACLU has threatened legal action against Gov. Abbott, denouncing SB 4 as one of the most anti-immigrant bills ever passed by a state. 

Advocates, including Krish O’Mara Vignarajah of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, have decried the law, stating it endangers the safety and dignity of asylum seekers and contradicts the nation’s values of compassion and due process.

Notably, three prominent county executives from El Paso, Harris, and Travis counties, representing a quarter of Texas’s population, have urged President Biden to intervene. They argue that SB 4’s implementation could jeopardize community safety, emphasizing concerns over its constitutionality.

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