AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following the passage of Senate Bill 4, State Authority to Enforce the Border, by Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock:
“Texans know the Biden Administration has perpetuated the crisis on our southern border, and Texas must take matters into our own hands to keep our state safe. Creating a state crime for illegal border crossers will act as a strong deterrent and allow our law enforcement officers more authority to secure the border.
“Earlier this week both the Senate and House border bill authors, Sen. Charles Perry and Rep. David Spiller, agreed on exact language and filed identical bills. I thought Sen. Perry did a remarkable job in explaining why this legislation is needed. With the changes made and agreed to this week, once signed by the Governor, this bill will be, without question, the strongest stand that any state has taken to protect its citizens and its sovereignty. Our founders could never have imagined that any president would abdicate his constitutional duty to protect our borders and our citizens.”
SB 4, by Sen. Charles Perry, creates a new state crime for entering Texas illegally. SB 4 authorizes Texas law enforcement to arrest and prosecute all people who cross the border illegally anywhere in Texas. The bill requires every arrested illegal border crosser to be fingerprinted and have a background check. Punishment starts with up to 6 months in jail for a first-time offender and two years in state jail for a second-time offender. After magistration, an illegal border crosser can be returned to the port of entry and ordered to return to the country which they entered from. If they fail to do so, they will face even stiffer penalties.