The ongoing border crisis under President Joe Biden has left residents along the southern border increasingly frustrated and scared. In Texas, where state legislators are tired of waiting for action from the White House, new laws are reportedly being finalized to give state law enforcement a more active and aggressive role in securing the border and protecting Texans in affected areas. This may include the creation of a new police force dedicated to preventing illegal migrants from entering the Lone Star State, according to a report by Hot Air, quoting other sources.
The Boston Globe noted:
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.
Texas Democrats are opposing the new border security bill as it hinders the flow of illegal migration, drug trade, and human trafficking across the border. However, the past success of GOP Gov. Greg Abbott's border security measures indicate that Republicans in the legislature are unlikely to pay heed to their opposition, Hot Air noted further.
"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 report continued.
The proposed legislation introduces a term that isn't commonly used: illegally crossing into Texas would become a "state felony." Although it may sound like a contradiction in terms, it is not. In Texas, state felonies are laws that match specific federal laws and can lead to significant penalties. However, because it is a state law, offenders would serve their time in a state jail instead of being sent to a federal prison, said the report.
The proposed legislation includes an interesting provision that would allow the new law enforcement agency to deputize residents living near the border. With more than 45% of Texas households having at least one firearm, compared to 19.95% in New York, this provision adds an interesting twist. Texans are known for their love of firearms and many gun owners have been watching groups of migrants cross their property and threaten their families. They would likely be eager to sign up for a deputy’s badge, and being deputized would provide some legal protections if they are forced to defend themselves against violent migrants, Hot Air continued.
The new legislation would impose significant penalties. Migrants arrested under the new law could face up to ten years in jail and a $10,000 fine for each offense, potentially deterring future illegal crossings. The law is an extension of Abbott's $4 billion border effort, known as "Operation Lone Star." If successful, other border states, such as Arizona and New Mexico, may follow Texas' lead in securing their borders.
In March 2021, just two months after Biden took office and reversed nearly all of President Donald Trump's immigration and border security policies, Fox News host Tucker Carlson remarked on what a disaster the border had become in such a short period of time.
"What’s happening on the border tonight will change our country forever. A lot of things won’t, but this will, and you should know that. Unlike other disasters, mass illegal immigration is permanent. No one ever really gets sent home. Over the past 30 years, the population of the United States has exploded by nearly 100 million people, mostly due to immigration. Were you even aware that happened?" he said, adding that America won't survive Biden's immigration policies.