Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said Friday that he wanted the state Legislature to pass new laws to address illegal immigration in the state, citing inaction by the Biden administration.
“I’m working on new laws as we come to a close of this legislative session that will provide us even more tools. One is we are seeking to make it a felony for anybody to cross into the state of Texas illegally. In addition to what we currently have in place, we would also be able to begin arresting people for crossing into our state illegally and put them behind bars for a very long time,” Abbott said at a briefing held at Brownsville, Texas.
The Biden administration allowed Title 42 to lapse at 11:59 p.m. May 11. Over 1.2 million illegal immigrants have been encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border during fiscal year 2023, according to data released by United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), following 2,378,944 encounters in fiscal year 2022 and 1,734,686 in fiscal year 2021, while Fox News reported that 600,000 migrants evaded CBP in fiscal year 2022.
“We also want to make it a felony for anybody operating a stash house. When people come across the border between ports of entry, typically one of the first places they go to is to a stash house and we want to be more effective in shutting those down,” Abbott said.
Abbott said that the state would continue busing migrants to “sanctuary cities” during the briefing. Texas sent a bus of migrants to Denver, Colorado, Thursday, while the state started busing migrants to cities like Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York City in 2022.
“The last new law is something I find the most reprehensible thing I’ve seen as governor,” Abbott continued. “Our fellow Texans are actually providing aid and assistance to the drug cartels across the border by picking up people who come across illegally and assisting and smuggling them illegally in the state of Texas and we need to shut that down. And so we are seeking a law to create a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years behind bars for anyone caught smuggling people illegally in the state of Texas.”
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