Undocumented migrants who cross the border illegally in Texas could be arrested and face state charges under a new plan announced on Thursday by GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, who also said he intends to continue building a border wall.
Abbott said illegal immigrants would be arrested by the Texas Department of Public Safety and could face charges of trespassing, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and/or property damage, among others.
During a border security summit attended by representatives from different police departments in the state, the Republican governor announced a plan that seeks to put a stop to the “crisis that is out of control.”
To achieve this, Abbott today established the first Texas State Border Security Task Force, which will include several state agencies, including the Attorney General’s Office, and the statewide jail system.
He also signed a section of the state budget recently approved by the state legislature that provides $1 billion for border security.
The governor assured that he also intends to continue construction on the border wall, indicating that he will provide more information on this next week.
“We need to act now (…) because it’s not what they were expecting, it’s not the red carpet that the federal administration rolled out to them,” Abbott said during the event.
The governor hopes the news that they could be arrested and face charges will be a motivation for migrants to stop crossing the border.
“They are going to jail in the state of Texas,” he emphasized.
Last week, Abbott declared a state of emergency due to the increased flow of migrants and revoked state child care licenses for centers that house migrant minors who have crossed the border without a parent or legal guardian.
He also announced today a partnership with GOP Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to share resources and combat the influx.
Both Abbott and Ducey blame President Biden for the increased immigration flow in recent months for suspending the immigration policies of his predecessor, Donald Trump.