Texas Governor Greg Abbott is determined to block the Biden Administration’s pro-immigrant measures, whatever it takes.
As reported by NPR, Abbott’s new measures include beginning to arrest migrants on trespassing charges along the U.S.-Mexico border. Abbott claims that this measure is necessary to curb the number of border crossings, and so far, at least ten people have been jailed, and more are on the way.
Abbott had announced the new measures in June when he also said Texas would continue to build former President Trump’s longed-for border wall.
The detainees are being held in what had been a vacant state prison in Dilley, Texas, about 100.93 miles north of the border city of Laredo, said Robert Hurst, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He said the converted facility would be able to hold more than 950 people.
According to Val Verde County District Attorney David Martinez, so far, all of those arrested are single adult males, and he said migrant arrests could increase to 100 to 200 per day.
Most of the land along the southern Texas border is privately owned, but Martinez said it was his understanding that state troopers would not detain family units, NPR continued. Last week, U.S. authorities reported finding 55,805 family members with children in June, a 25 percent increase from the previous month. That number was still well below the peak of 88,587 in May 2019.
Migrants arrested by state troopers under the governor’s new guidelines began showing up at a former prison facility last Tuesday.
Hundreds of law enforcement agents from across the state and the country have been dispatched to the Texas-Mexico border in recent weeks to begin the arrests, the Wall Street Journal said. Meanwhile, civil rights groups have questioned the move, saying states cannot legally enforce federal immigration law.