This week, the local Congress in Texas has given the green light to one of the strictest legislations against immigrants in the United States. The Republican majority in the Legislature has endorsed a series of rules that make illegal entry into Texas from Mexico a criminal offense, allowing state authorities to deport those who enter irregularly.
Is this measure legal?
The legality of this measure has been a subject of debate among experts and human rights organizations. These laws now await approval from the state governor, Greg Abbott, known for opposing immigrant arrivals by sending buses to Democratic cities or installing buoys and barbed wire in the Rio Grande. Abbott has already confirmed his intention to sign the initiatives into law.
The proposal allows for the detention of anyone at any time and place suspected of illegally entering Texas, a state with around ten million residents of Mexican origin.
Recently, the local Senate also approved an initiative granting Abbott the use of an additional $1.5 billion to enhance surveillance at the Mexico border, an area experiencing record numbers of illegal crossings. Abbott plans to use part of these funds to build more miles of immigration wall and other barriers to curb the flow of people.
The legislation, approved by the local Senate in an emergency session, allows authorities to opt for the deportation to Mexico of anyone suspected of irregularly entering Texas. If they do not leave the United States, they face charges of a new offense, with penalties ranging from two to 20 years in prison.
The Mexican government has expressed its rejection of the measure this week. The Mexican foreign ministry issued a statement characterizing the criminalization of immigrants as a factor that “will result in the separation of families, discrimination, and racial profiling.” Additionally, it rejects a measure allowing state authorities to detain and return nationals or foreigners to Mexican territory.
Human rights organizations have announced their intention to sue the Texas government as soon as Abbott signs and enacts this initiative into law.
Sources for this note: CNN, EL PAIS
If you want to learn more about these issues, visit the social media accounts of Paralegal Clases and join our live sessions every Wednesday at 5:00 P.M.
Facebook: Paralegal Institute of the Americas
Youtube: Paralegal Institute