Last week, Texas Representative Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler) proposed House Bill 20. The bill is also known as the Border Protection Unit Act. This bill will give Texas law enforcement more authority to arrest and detain undocumented migrants. The bill also has the full support of Lieutenant Dan Patrick.
If the bill is approved, this will give Texas agents more power in their role in fighting the border war. Last year, the southern border saw over 2 million migrants cross the shared border with Mexico.
Senior advocacy manager Roberto Lopez for Texas Civil Rights Project, the beyond borders program thinks Scahaefer’s bill is the “most dangerous proposal we have ever seen on border issues.”
“A new military force under Gov. Greg Abbott, potentially staffed by vigilantes deputized as law enforcement authorities, will provide no protection to border communities whatsoever.”
“Trying to solve what is fundamentally a humanitarian crisis with a full-frontal military response shows a reckless disregard for the safety of the people in our state and a fundamental misunderstanding of the root causes of the issues at our border.”
"The House bill will give agents the ability and authority to "arrest, detain, and deter individuals crossing the border illegally, including with the use of non-deadly force."
House bill 20 will be one of Speaker of the House Dade Phelan’s 20 priorities in the 88th legislative session of the 140-day session.
Border Patrol has deported fewer migrants this year as the number crossing the border has declined. Some believe this is caused by the policies implemented by President Joe Biden. Others such as Governor Greg Abbott believe the number of migrants who cross the border will increase later in the year.
If the House bill gets passed, this could help deter even more illegal immigrants.
Here are more details on what the Texas legislators are working on in this session:
Do you think the House bill is needed?
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