Mexican President Rages Against New 'Migrant Arrest' Law In Texas, Vows To Challenge

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Dec 20, 2023 - 01:25 AM

Mexican President  Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) is spitting mad after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a measure into law that allows state law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants who have entered the US without authorization.

"We’re always going to be against these measures, and we want to say to our countrymen and migrants that we’re defending them. The governor of Texas is acting this way because he wants to be a candidate for vice president," AMLO said during a Tuesday press briefing, adding "He’s not going to gain anything with this measure."

The move comes after Texas - fed up with a federal government that continues letting illegal immigrants pour across the Rio Grande and then roam with impunity - took matters into its own hands on Monday, enacting a law that makes it a state crime to illegally enter the Lone Star State from a foreign nation.  

When that law takes effect in March, illegal border crossings will become a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. Repeat offenses will be a second-degree felony subject to prison sentences from two to 20 years. Judges can kill the charges if an arrested immigrant agrees to go back to Mexico. 

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott signs three border security bills into law at a border wall construction site in Brownsville (AP Photo/Valerie Gonzalez)

"President Biden’s deliberate inaction has left Texas to fend for itself," said Abbott. "Today, I will sign three laws to better protect Texas—and America—from President Biden’s border neglect." The other laws provide for an additional $1.54 billion to continue building border barriers, and increase the minimum jail sentence for migrant-smuggling from two years to 10.  

Some sheriffs are uneasy about their capacity to hold and manage what could be an enormous population of detainees. "In just one section of the 1,254-mile Texas border with Mexico, around the cities of Eagle Pass and Del Rio, federal agents encountered 38,000 migrants in October," reports the New York Times.

Abbott's signing ceremony comes as jaw-dropping hordes of migrants swamped the border in Eagle Pass, and as the Border Patrol has halted freight train activity on two railway bridges connecting Texas and Mexico, as smugglers pack migrants like cattle onto northbound rail cars. 

The law authorizing Texas police officers to arrest illegal immigrants is certain to precipitate a legal showdown between Texas and the federal government -- one that could ultimately see the US Supreme Court take a new look at their decision in Arizona v United States. In that June 2012 case, the court ruled by a 5-3 majority in favor of the federal government monopolizing immigration policy.  

However, as law professor Josh Blackman points out at The Volokh Conspiracy, the Arizona majority decision included a sentence that left open the issue of detentions like those enabled by the new Texas law:

"There is no need in this case to address whether reasonable suspicion of illegal entry or another immigration crime would be a legitimate basis for prolonging a detention, or whether this too would be preempted by federal law."  

Democrats are already urging the Justice Department to intervene. In a letter to the DOJ, San Antonio Congressman Joaquin Castro and 20 other representatives ask Attorney General Merrick Garland to "assert your authority over federal immigration and foreign policy and pursue legal action, as appropriate, to stop this unconstitutional and dangerous legislation from going into effect.” 

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), a union representing 18,000 support Border Patrol personnel, has an entirely different view: "As the flagrant disregard of our laws too often is the norm throughout our country, Texans can be proud that their governor will not back down to pervasive and radical woke ideology."