With the Obama administration failing to enforce immigration laws and secure the southern border, Texas lawmakers are considering ways to carefully craft state laws to deal with illegal aliens without running afoul of the U.S. Constitution. Texas Deputy Attorney General Brantley Starr told lawmakers last week they have options to flex state legal muscle in the traditionally federal realm of immigration enforcement.
“You do have the ability to create state-level offenses that have an immigration element to them as long as they are sufficiently unique,” he said, citing House Bill 11, the Legislature’s 2015 omnibus border security bill. The bill, signed into law in June by Gov. Abbott, makes it a state felony to smuggle someone into the U.S. for pay. The new state laws are already helping state police apprehend criminals that federal agents might let go, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told lawmakers. Additional laws are under consideration.
Posted 12/17/15 by Margaret Hull