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Texas Gov. To Sign Legislation Allowing State Authorities to Arrest Illegal Aliens

Texas Gov. To Sign Legislation Allowing State Authorities to Arrest Illegal Aliens

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he intends to sign recently crafted legislation that will greatly expand the power of local authorities to address the migrant crisis at the U.S. southern border.

Last month Texas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 4, allowing state police to arrest illegal aliens and take them before a judge or magistrate who can order them to be deported.

Abbott says that the border crisis is “extraordinarily bad,” blaming President Joe Biden’s policies for allowing migrants to make the arduous journey to come to the U.S.

"In two weeks, I'll be signing a new law in the state of Texas that will make it illegal for people to enter the state of Texas from another country illegally and authorizing every peace officer in the State of Texas to arrest those people entering our country illegally,” Abbott said during a recent interview.

Texas is among several states that have faced calls to do more to address the border crisis in the absence of the federal government enforcing border security.

Opponents have said that only the federal government has the authority to secure the U.S. southern border and deport migrants. However, several officials have written in great detail that such powers also belong to states when the federal government is derelict in this duty.

Former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich wrote a 25-page legal opinion outlining a policy whereby states can use constitutionally prescribed powers under several clauses in the U.S. Constitution to enact border security measures if the federal government is unable or unwilling to protect the border itself.

Ken Cucinelli, who served in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the Trump administration, authored a similar policy brief explaining that under the Constitution’s guarantee clause (Article IV, Section 4) and implementing the document’s “self-help” remedy (Article I, Section 10, Clause 3) states are able to enforce border security.

“The reality is that if the federal government refuses to faithfully execute its own laws, then the states have no recourse but to interpose themselves between the federal government and the people they have sworn to protect in order to achieve deterrence and the removal of illegal aliens.,” Cucinelli wrote.

Once Abbott signs SB4 into law, police will be able to detain migrants, and do so without the cooperation of landowners who have properties touching the border with Mexico.

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