Texas, Florida enforces border laws as governors eye the presidency

PHOENIX (AP) — Led by hard-line Republican governors weighing presidential elections, Texas and Florida are debating particularly tough border security laws as the GOP tests federal agency on immigration.

The moves in the two GOP-controlled statehouses come amid polarization in Congress that makes national immigration legislation unlikely as President Joe Biden seeks to quash migrant arrivals at the border while eyeing his own reelection bid keeps.

Republican proposals in Texas Building on Gov. Greg Abbott’s $4 billion Operation Lone Star project, building more barriers along the US-Mexico border and busing migrants to Democrat-run cities, including Washington, DC and New York . Confirm Abbott’s aides he is considering running for president.

Operation Lone Star has already deployed other officers along the Texas-Mexico border to arrest migrants trespassing on private property. Now Texas lawmakers have proposed creating a new border police force that could represent private individuals and making it a state crime to enter the state without a permit, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

“Texas is taking historic measures to secure the border and prevent guns, drugs and cartel gangs from invading our state,” Abbott said said in a tweet this week. “As President Biden relinquishes his constitutional duty, Texas continues to strengthen.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is considered Donald Trumps strongest GOP competitor to date in next year’s presidential primaries, Has suggested Making people smuggling in the state a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. Hospitals would have to collect data on patients’ immigration status, and people in the US would be denied illegal state government IDs.

“Texas and Florida are places with politically ambitious governors who hope to use immigrants to advance their causes,” said attorney Tanya Broder of the National Immigration Law Center, which works to protect immigrants’ rights.

Despite the harsh rhetoric, Broder said progress on immigrant rights has been made quietly in recent years.

A state-level organization has improved immigrants’ access to health care, higher education, work permits and driver’s licenses a recent study Broder was co-author.

The study found that Colorado was the first state to introduce an alternative to unemployment insurance for excluded workers. Arizona voters last year approved state tuition for all students attending high school in the state, regardless of immigration status.

Abbott and DeSantis blame Biden for a sharp rise in illegal crossings into the United States over the past year The GOP’s attacks on Biden’s handling of border issues. The sharp drop along the southwest border was followed by the Biden administration’s announcement of tighter immigration measures.

The US border patrol said it encountered migrants attempting to cross the border between legal ports of entry 128,877 times in February, the lowest monthly number since February 2021. Agents accepted migrants more than 2.5 million times in 2022 the southern border, including more than 250,000 in December, the highest on record.

“Florida will not ignore the dangers of Biden’s border crisis,” DeSantis said a tweet last month the promulgation of Florida’s legislation. “We are proposing additional steps to protect Floridians from this ruthless federal policy, including mandatory e-verification and a local government ban on issuing ID cards to illegal aliens.”

While Texas and Florida officials are blowing up their efforts to tighten borders, no major immigration legislation has emerged this year in Arizona, which has enacted some of the toughest anti-immigrant laws.

Arizona’s Show Me Your Papers law, passed in 2010, required law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of a stopped or arrested person if the officers suspected the person was being illegally in the United States, critics of a practice said promoted racial profiling. The courts eventually overturned several provisions of the law.

Arizona’s Republican lawmakers are up against Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, who did so this year vetoed a GOP-backed budget and a bill banning the teaching of public schoolchildren in subjects its authors call “critical race theory.”

New Mexico, which also borders Mexico, has steadily removed barriers for undocumented migrants to access public services, college grants, and licenses into recognized jobs since 2021.

After taking office in 2019, Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham withdrew the majority of National Guard troops her Republican predecessor sent to the border, denouncing a “charade of fear-mongering at the border.”

The New Mexico legislature is also controlled by Democrats. Still, legislators this week rejected a proposal to block state and local government agencies from contracting with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain immigrants while they seek asylum.

In North Carolina, Republican lawmakers last month launched a new attempt to require sheriffs to work with federal immigration officers interested in arresting certain prison inmates suspected of being in the United States illegally. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper twice vetoed previous versions of the measure, but Republican majorities in the General Assembly have since increased.

A similar Idaho effort has not yet made it past its legal introduction.

Immigration-related legislation in other states includes:

– A Georgia bill that went unadvanced that would grant state college tuition to immigrant students who came to the United States as children and are protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Bills are being introduced that would ban companies and some people from certain countries from buying farmland within 40 kilometers of a military base.

– A Colorado bill aimed at allowing immigrants who came to the US as children and are protected from deportation to own a firearm so they can become law enforcement officers.


Associated Press writers Acacia Coronado in Austin, Texas; Brendan Farrington of Tallahassee, Florida; Morgan Lee in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Gary D. Robertson in Raleigh, North Carolina; Jeff Amy in Atlanta; Jesse Bedayn in Denver; and Rebecca Boone of Boise, Idaho, contributed to this report.

Source : news.yahoo.com

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