USA Texas signs a law to criminalize and persecute undocumented immigrants

Entering Texas illegally through the border with Mexico will be a state crime pursued by authorities from now on

USA Texas signs a law to criminalize and persecute undocumented immigrants

Entering Texas illegally through the border with Mexico will be a state crime pursued by authorities from now on. The new law SB4, signed by the Republican governor last Monday, will come into force in March and legitimizes the persecution of the immigrant population in a State with more than 40% Hispanics.

Anyone who does not have the papers in order may be detained by local agents, be placed in deportation proceedings or face years in prison in case of recidivism, in one of the most severe anti-immigrant laws in the country.

The measure aims to stop the massive flow of illegal crossings into the second largest state in the country and one of the four that border Mexico. In recent months, Abbott has sent more than 20 buses with undocumented immigrants to Los Angeles and as many to New York, accusing Democratic Party politicians of causing an unprecedented immigration crisis in the United States.

In addition to instilling fear in the hundreds of thousands of 'undocumented' people who have been residing, working and paying taxes in Texas for years, Abbott's law is a challenge to Joe Biden's government. It allows local police and judges to detain and deport immigrants, something that in the rest of the country is only the responsibility of federal authorities. In Washington they have called the decree unconstitutional.

Despite the various rulings of federal courts on the matter, there are several Republican legislators in Texas who trust that SB4 can reach the Supreme Court and be ratified by the current conservative majority.

Abbott directly accused Biden of not knowing how to handle border security. "Biden's deliberate inaction has left Texas to his fate," said the Republican, one of former President Donald Trump's main allies facing his re-election. Last month they were together on a visit to the border.

The governor made the announcement from a private farm along the Rio Grande in Brownsville, right next to the small section of border wall built by Texas. He is convinced that the law is so "extreme" that it will produce "a dramatic reduction well over 50%, perhaps 75%, in the number of people crossing illegally into Texas."

On the other hand, activist groups and members of the Democratic Party have called the measure "the most extreme anti-immigrant law in the United States" in a letter sent to the Department of Justice. Both Joaquín Castro, congressman from Texas, and 20 other Democratic legislators, have requested direct intervention from Attorney General Merrick Garland.

"We urge you to assert your authority over federal immigration and foreign policy and take legal action, as appropriate, to prevent this unconstitutional and dangerous legislation from taking effect," they said in a letter.

For their part, organizations such as the Youth Center for the Rights of Immigrant Children maintain that SB4 "will exacerbate racial discrimination against black and Hispanic children and families throughout Texas. Law enforcement will be more likely to stop and arrest anyone who are suspected of having entered Texas between ports of entry, based on their mere physical appearance.

Some of the sheriffs in border towns have also expressed their opposition. He worries that the implementation of SB4 starting in March will overwhelm local jails and courts if authorities arrest a small percentage of the people who cross the 2,000-kilometer border between Texas and Mexico every day. In a single stretch, federal agents encountered more than 38,000 immigrants in October.

It will surely be one of the hot topics during next year's presidential campaign. On the one hand, Biden, who came to the White House promising immigration reform that has not even been debated in Congress, and on the other, the most likely Republican candidate, a Trump who has promised to break a deportation record if he returns. to govern.