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HomeGeneralTexas Gov. Greg Abbott signs controversial SB4 Bill Into Law

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs controversial SB4 Bill Into Law

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A picture of Texas border patrol agents and illegal immigrants
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, known for advocating the expansion of the state’s border enforcement, signed a controversial bill on Monday. The bill grants state law enforcement officers the authority to arrest, detain, and deport individuals suspected of illegally crossing the Texas-Mexico border.

This move further emphasizes Abbott’s commitment to enhancing border security, covering the extensive 1,200-mile border between Texas and Mexico. The bill has garnered national praise from supporters who believe it provides Texas with an additional tool to enforce its border.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick expressed strong support, describing it as “the strongest border security bill Texas has ever passed” in a statement. Patrick emphasized that Senate Bill 4 is aimed at enhancing border security and ensuring the safety of Texans.

Gov. Abbott thanked lawmakers at a Brownsville signing ceremony for a bill allowing arrests at the Texas-Mexico border. He squarely blamed President Biden for the migrant influx, emphasizing the need for stronger border measures.

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ALSO READ: Texas State Governor to Authorize Peace Officers to Arrest Illegal Immigrants

The signing occurred by an unfinished border wall, underscoring the event’s significance. “Joe Biden’s deliberate inaction has decimated America,” Abbott said.

Detractors widely condemn the legislation, arguing that Texas lacks standing to regulate immigration. Critics expressed concerns that the bill could lead to racial profiling of residents by law enforcement.

Senate Bill 4 passed both houses of the Texas legislature in November. The legislation mirrors the federal law that makes an illegal entry at the U.S. border a misdemeanor and illegal re-entry a felony. Those crimes are codified in U.S. law Title 8 under sections 1325 and 1326.

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The legislation doesn’t necessitate the governor’s signature, but Abbott has expressed intent to sign it, possibly as early as today. Senate Bill 4 is scheduled to take effect in March.

POLL — Should the U.S. Government Create a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?

Opponents of the legislation are urging the U.S. Department of Justice to sue Texas. They argue that the Biden administration must take stronger actions to rein in Abbott’s measures on border and immigration.

The Justice Department has yet to respond to the call publicly. Meanwhile, the ACLU has said it plans to mount a legal challenge, although none has been filed yet.

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“The Texas legislature can’t override federal immigration laws and replace them with outlandish schemes of its own invention,” said Anand Balakrishnan, ACLU senior staff attorney, in a statement.

The likely legal battle could reverberate nationally in an election year in which migration at the U.S.-Mexico border is shaping up to be a central issue. The U.S. federal government has negotiated agreements with Mexico for the country to accept returned migrants from countries other than Mexico, including during the Trump and Biden administrations.

ALSO READ: Texas Is Sending Out Another 70,000 Immigrants to Cities Run by Democrats

But Mexico says it’s under no obligation to negotiate with Texas and said the legislation threatens the rights of Mexicans.

“The Government of Mexico recognizes the sovereign right of a country to determine the public policies that are implemented in its territory,” according to a statement by the foreign ministry, published in English on November 15.

“Nevertheless, it respectfully expresses its own legitimate right to protect the rights of its nationals in the United States and to determine its own policies regarding entry into its territory,” the statement said.

“Therefore, the Government of Mexico categorically rejects any measure that allows state or local authorities to detain and return Mexican or foreign nationals to Mexican territory.”

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