As the Biden border crisis grinds on into its third year, residents along the southern border are growing increasingly frustrated and, in some cases, frightened. That’s particularly true in Texas, where legislators are clearly tired of waiting for the White House to fix Joe Biden’s disastrous policies and have decided to take matters into their own hands. The state legislature is reportedly finalizing some new laws that would empower state law enforcement to take a much more active and aggressive role in securing the border and ensuring the safety of the Texans living in the affected areas. The plan will potentially include an entirely new police force dedicated to blocking illegal migrants’ access to the Lone Star State. (Boston Globe)
Texas lawmakers are proposing legislation that makes it a state felony to cross the border from Mexico illegally and create a new border police force that could deputize private citizens, the latest in the state’s continued push to test the limits of the federal government’s authority over immigration.
Civil rights organizations, immigration advocates, and Democrats immediately decried the efforts that began drawing attention after Friday’s deadline for filing bills in Texas’ ongoing biennial legislative session.
Yes, Texas Democrats are up in arms over this bill because, well… of course they are. Anything that slows the flow of illegal aliens, deadly drugs and human trafficking across the border runs counter to The Narrative. But the popularity of Greg Abbott’s previous efforts to secure the border suggests that the Republicans in the legislature are unlikely to listen.
Creating an entirely new police force dedicated to arresting illegal aliens and either jailing them or forcing them to return to Mexico will cost money, but Greg Abbott and the Texas GOP haven’t been shy about paying the bills if their efforts produce positive results.
The proposed legislation includes a term we don’t run across all that often. Illegally crossing into Texas would become a “state felony.” That may sound like a contradiction in terms, but it’s not. State felonies in Texas are laws that align with certain federal laws and can result in significant penalties. But because it’s a state law, perpetrators are not sent to federal prison. They would instead serve their time in a state jail.
Allowing the new law enforcement agency to deputize people living near the border is another interesting twist. More than 45% of Texas households have at least one firearm in them. (Compare that to 19.95% in New York.) That puts the old expression about not messing with Texas in perspective. And many of those gun-owning Texans who have been watching bands of migrants traipsing across their property and menacing their families would likely be eager to sign up for a deputy’s badge. Also, being deputized would likely shield them from some repercussions if they are forced to respond to violent migrants.
Migrants arrested under the new law would face up to ten years in jail and a $10,000 fine for each offense. Once the news about this law starts circulating in Mexico (assuming it passes), both migrants and cartel mules might think twice before making their next trip. The law is being framed as an extension to the Governor’s $4 billion border effort known as Operation Lone Star. If they manage to pull this off, Arizona and New Mexico may want to start considering something similar. If Joe Biden refuses to close the border, someone else will need to step up and do it for him. And Greg Abbott may be just the person for the job.