Texas Takes Historic Action Against Illegal Immigrants

The state of Texas has started to arrest illegal immigrants who are attempting to cross the border into the U.S. from Mexico.

On Monday, Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill that allows law enforcement agencies in the state the authority to place under arrest any migrant who tries to cross into the U.S. illegally.

At a ceremony held to commemorate the signing Monday, Abbott said the bill’s goal is to “stop the tidal wave of illegal entry into Texas.” It marks a rapid escalation of tensions between Texas and the federal government, and represents the state taking the matter into its own hands.

After migrants are placed into custody, they’ll have a choice of leaving America per an order from a judge, or face prosecution for misdemeanor charges of illegal entry. Those who don’t comply could be arrested again and face felony charges in the future.

Appearing on the Fox & Friends program on Tuesday, one of the state’s top law enforcement officials, DPS Lieutenant Chris Olivarez, said the governor is using this bill to take the “fight to the federal government.” He added that Abbott is standing up for law enforcement and residents with this “historic action.”

On Monday alone, law enforcement agencies arrested more than 4,000 people who tried to enter the U.S. illegally, according to Olivarez.

He explained:

“This is not your ordinary border situation. I think we moved beyond chaos and now this situation has gotten much worse. This is deliberate inaction by the federal government to secure our border.”

Under the law, authorities have “broader authority” to apply the charge of criminal trespass to illegal immigrants.

It’s something that many liberal activists and organizations have condemned, but also one that many people have supported. Tom Homan, the former acting director of ICE, told Fox this week that the White House hasn’t “done a single thing” to improve the situation at the southern border, which gave Texas no choice but to take their own action.

He said:

“This isn’t mismanagement and incompetence. It is by design. [Biden] ran on open borders.

“And you’ve got to give [Abbott] credit. He’s kept his promise. I salute Governor Abbott. We’ve got to protect this country. How many people off the terrorist watch list have been arrested? A historic number. Governor Abbott is trying to protect Texas and, in doing so, he’s protecting this country.”

In the 2023 fiscal year alone, border control agents have had in excess of 2.4 million encounters with migrants – which destroyed previous records. Individual monthly records for encounters were set in both September and October.

Border states have demanded more funding to help them deal with the crisis, yet that funding has stalled in Washington, D.C. Republican lawmakers have demanded that extra funding for border security be combined with placing restrictions on parole and asylum, but Democrats haven’t been on board with that yet.

In the meantime, southern states like Texas have no choice but to act individually since the federal government is only proving to be inactive.