Republican lawmakers in Texas are pushing legislation that would make it a state felony to cross the border from Mexico illegally and establish a state unit of officers to assist with the arrests of migrants entering the state at places other than ports of entry.
Introduced by Texas GOP state Rep. Matt Schaefer, House Bill 20 would create a “Border Protection Unit” that allows its officers to “arrest, detain, and deter individuals crossing the border illegally including with the use of non-deadly force.”
Schaefer’s bill, which will have to pass both of Texas’ Republican-controlled legislative chambers before the end of May, notes that officers serving in the unit must be U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents, and have law enforcement experience.
The state House proposal would also give officers serving in the unit immunity “from criminal and civil liability for any actions taken that are authorized” under the proposed law. Read more…