Author Topic: Compromise Measure to Remove Illegal Aliens Moves Quickly  (Read 419 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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Compromise Measure to Remove Illegal Aliens Moves Quickly
« on: November 10, 2023, 12:13:04 pm »
Texas Scorecard by  Sydnie Henry November 9, 2023

The measure would create a criminal penalty for illegal entry or illegal presence in the state and authorize removal of illegal aliens.

As lawmakers consider border security legislation in the fourth special session, one measure seeks to create a criminal penalty for illegal entry into or illegal presence in Texas and authorizes the removal of persons who violate this measure.

House Bill 4 by State Rep. David Spiller (R-Jacksboro) has changed since its original introduction in the third special session. 

HB 4 stalled in the third session following disagreement between House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick over the specifics of the measure. With the announcement of the fourth special session this week, a compromise was announced between the two chambers.

The measure includes these basic facets:

•   A judge or magistrate may, in lieu of continuing prosecution for a person arrested under this offense, dismiss the charges if the person agrees to return to the foreign nation from which they came or entered.
•   Before the person is dismissed, law enforcement would be required to take fingerprints and photographs and cross-reference them with state and federal criminal databases.

•   The severity of the criminal charges increases with each subsequent reentry.

•   Local and state officials, employees, and contractors receive civil immunity and are indemnified from federal prosecution. 

The measure also includes safeguards:

•   It only applies to those who are suspected of crossing into Texas in between the legal ports of entry.

•   If the federal government has granted the person lawful presence, asylum, or benefits under DACA, the person will not be charged under HB 4.

•   Law enforcement cannot arrest a person under HB 4 if the person is at a school, healthcare facility, place of religious worship, or SAFE-ready facility.