Texas House Passes Bill to Expand Immigration Enforcement to Local Police


Texas’ state House of Representatives approved three bills to strengthen border security on Thursday morning.

The first bill allocates over $1 billion for border barriers and the second increases sentences against human trafficking.

The third, known as House Bill 4, would allow local law enforcement to arrest and deport undocumented migrants.

The bills caused a rift in the state’s politics and sparked a debate lasting for several hours on Wednesday and Thursday.

Cody Harris, a state representative from Palestine, moved to end the debate by blocking new amendments. The bill passed with an 84-60 vote.

Armando Lucio Walle, a state representative from Houston, told Harris that the bill hurt him to his core. “And you don’t understand that. You don’t live in our skin. “And that’s why I get so angry.”

The bill is intended to empower Texas officers to deal with illegal immigration directly despite federal court rulings that granted jurisdiction over the border to the federal government.

The bill now heads to the state Senate where Republicans hold a similar majority and will likely approve the legislation.

David Spille, a state representative from Fort Worth, said the bill was a “humane and logical approach”.

He said, “It is not unfair to send someone back if they have come here illegally.”

The Biden administration released new border numbers in September. This marked the highest monthly encounters and the largest number of records. FY 23 has had the most encounters ever.

The administration has recently redoubled its opposition to border wall construction, citing the “acute and urgent” need to waive federal rules to allow construction to take place in South Texas.