(ConservativeFreePress.com) – The legislative chamber of the Texas State House recently approved a trio of bills aimed at strengthening security measures along the state border. The first legislation earmarks over a billion dollars specifically for the building of physical barriers at the border. The second piece of legislation aims to toughen penalties for those found guilty of human trafficking.
The third measure, widely referred to as House Bill 4, would provide local law enforcement the authority to detain and deport individuals who have entered the U.S. illegally. The passage of these bills has not been without controversy, leading to extensive and sometimes heated debates that spanned from Wednesday into Thursday. State Representative Cody Harris, hailing from Palestine, Texas, moved to stifle the introduction of additional amendments, effectively curtailing the debate. The bill was eventually approved by a vote count of 84 to 60.
Representative Armando Lucio Walle of Houston expressed profound disappointment and frustration toward Harris for halting the debate. Walle argued that those who don’t experience life as an immigrant or minority cannot fully grasp the implications of such legislation.
The essence of the bill is to give Texas police more latitude to address illegal immigration issues themselves, despite federal court decisions which have generally delegated border control responsibilities to the federal government.
The legislative package will next move to the state Senate, where the Republican majority is robust and likely to greenlight the bills.
Representative David Spille from Fort Worth endorsed the bill, describing it as a “rational, humane, and efficient” solution to border security challenges. He asserted that there’s nothing unjust about sending someone back to their country of origin if they entered the U.S. unlawfully.
In a related development, the Biden administration disclosed record-breaking border encounter statistics for September, adding fuel to the debate. Despite these numbers, the federal government has reiterated its stance against the construction of border walls, even as it recognizes an “urgent and immediate” requirement for construction efforts in South Texas.
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