State lawmakers in Texas are pushing legislation to help quell the southern border crisis after a group of more than 1,000 migrants rushed a port of entry in El Paso over the weekend.
Republicans in the Texas State legislature are proposing a new law that would make it a state felony to illegally cross the border from Mexico in an effort to take back control of the border as they claim the federal government continues to ignore the crisis.
The law would also establish a ‘Border Protection Unit’, which would be a group of officers dedicated to arresting migrants who enter Texas at points of the border that are not an official port of entry.
GOP lawmakers in Washington are placing the blame squarely on President Joe Biden’s new policies at the border for a massive group of migrants unsuccessfully trying to rush the El Paso, Texas port of entry – instead clashing with Mexican military and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Texas Republican State Representative Matt Schaefer introduced the bill this week that would embolden officers with the newly formed Border Protection Unit to ‘arrest, detain, and deter individuals crossing the border illegally including with the use of non-deadly force.’
Lawmakers in Texas are taking the power back to try and control migration at the southern border after a group of at least 1,000 migrants rushed the port of entry in El Paso over the weekend. The migrants accumulated on the bridge before concrete barriers and barbed wire
Hundreds of migrants mostly from Venezuela tries to rush the border over the weekend, but were unsuccessful in gaining entry into the U.S. as they were met with barriers, force and tear spray
Those officers would receive immunity from liability for authorized actions.
The bill also details that people arrested for crossing into Texas illegally could face 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for each individual violation.
Separately, Texas GOP State Senator Brian Birdwell introduced a bill to make it a crime in the state for people to bypass legal immigration channels and proceedings.
The law would put people in jail for one to two years for their second violation entering the U.S. illegally. They could also receive a lifetime behind bars if they were previously convicted of a felony.
Texas Republican State Rep. Matt Schaefer (pictured) introduced the bill this week that would create a Border Protection Unit
Texas has a Republican controlled legislature and governor, meaning it’s likely these laws will pass the House and Senate and go to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk for signature.
Abbott’s office did not respond to a request for comment on if he supports the proposed laws – but directed DailyMail.com to the part of the governor’s State of the State remarks where he addressed the crisis.
Lawmakers in D.C. and the court system in Florida are moving forward with attempting to put an end to Biden’s new parole program, which allows migrants to be swiftly released from Border Patrol custody into the U.S.
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn said Monday that Congress is looking at overruling the administration when it comes to the border and immigration law.
‘I think part of the president’s policies are attracting more illegal immigration and what the Border Patrol calls pull factors – in other words the perception that there are no consequences associated with coming here outside of legal immigration channels,’ Cornyn told Fox and Friends on Monday morning.
The new policies from the administration announced earlier this year allows 30,000 migrants each month into the U.S. from Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. But critics claim that the policies have only led to an exacerbation of the southern border crisis.
‘I think the president will try to go it alone,’ Cornyn said of the president’s policy stance toward the border, claiming that he has refused to work with Congress on the issue.
A group of ‘at least 1,000’ migrants clashed with Mexican military and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers as they rushed a checkpoint between El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico on Sunday trying to illegally enter the U.S.
Texas Senator John Cornyn slammed President Joe Biden’s new migrant policies for exacerbating the southern border crisis after a massive group of illegal immigrants rushed a border checkpoint on Sunday
‘We’re going to introduce the Congressional Review Act, which is a way Congress can overrule that administrative rule because I believe it will do nothing to make things worse but not better.’
Cornyn says that the rush of 1,000 migrants trying to illegally enter the country ‘is exactly what president Biden’s open border policies are inviting.’
Heavily-armed Mexican military and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were manning the El Paso border on Sunday evening after the massive group of migrants unsuccessfully tried to rush a checkpoint between El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico.
Video shared by Fox News reporter Bill Melugin showed the ‘bilateral show of force’ on the border, which included armed security forces in riot gear, barbed wire, concrete blocks and mesh fencing on the Paso Del Norte Bridge.
It was shared hours after different footage showed hordes of migrants charging past a line of Mexican officials at the southern border.
Photos captured the moment the group reached the center of the bridge, where they were then blocked by CBP officers, tear gas and barricades.
‘Unbelievable, honestly, to see this kind of video. Our border is not secure,’ Rep. Nancy Mace lamented in a Monday interview with Fox and Friends First.
‘Secretary Mayorkas is like a firefighter running away from a fire,’ she said of the Homeland Security secretary. ‘He ought to be impeached from this and this lawlessness – unbelievable.’
‘We are not following our laws,’ the South Carolina Republican continued. ‘We allow them to come here illegally and stay here illegally without consequence. You are seeing the results of that.’
‘Deal with the problem at the border then. Your experiment failed. You don’t want them in your community,’ she said.
Cornyn says the bigger problem is that Bidne refuses to work with Congress on the issue and tries to take it on just at the administrative level, which has so far not been successful in addressing the prevailing crisis at all.
Migrant encounters in January were at their lowest level since February 2021 after five months of increases in apprehensions
‘This is part of the plan and president Biden is not prepared,’ Cornyn said. ‘Unfortunately he insists on not working with Congress to solve that problem. I’m ready and able to work with him but it seems like he wants to go at it alone. So far, it’s not working.’
Cornyn announced plans in his interview Monday to force a vote in Congress to overturn Biden’s new ‘parole’ program, which seeks to admit migrants into the country outside of the usual process established under immigration law.
Meanwhile, a Florida federal judge last week ordered the Biden administration to end the expedited migrant release.
CBP officers said they ‘implemented port hardening measures’ on Sunday, including the use of the fencing and concrete barricades, temporarily preventing northbound traffic at the bridge.
Officials say the large group approached the international line ‘posing a threat to make mass entry.’
Footage showed the group, which consisted mostly of young men but also included women and young children, charging along the border road.
The clips also show them pushing past the Mexican side of Paso Del Norte bridge forcing CBP to erect barricades of barbed wire and other physical barriers to prevent any crossings.
Hundreds of migrants stormed the Paso del Norte, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in the hopes of crossing into El Paso on March 12
Mexican National Guardsman stand guard on the Paso del Norte International Bridge after it was closed by Mexican and US authorities on March 12
The Paso del Norte International Bridge was blocked by Mexican and US authorities after migrants assembled and forced their way onto the bridge
Bill Melugin of Fox News tweeted a video from El Paso showing Mexican military (pictured) facing south on one side of the border and CBP officials on the other
According to one reporter on the ground, a portion of the group was able to be pushed by CBP officials while another group decided to gather around smaller bridges including the Stanton Bridge and the Bridge of the Americas, also leading to the use of barricades by CBP officials armed with batons and riot shields.
Others attempted to get across the border into the U.S. by crossing the river.
‘This is the type of event that doesn’t help them (migrants),’ said Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas to KTSM.
‘It doesn’t help the migrant make their case. I know that they’re tired of waiting and all that, but this type of thing just doesn’t help their case,’ Cuellar said.
‘Even the president is saying, now, ‘Let’s have ’em come in in an orderly process,’ you know. What they’re doing, trying to rush through, doesn’t help their case one bit at all. It does become a little frustrating.’
CBP released a statement early on Sunday evening explaining what had occurred.
‘CBP officers including members of the CBP Mobile Field Force implemented port hardening measures at the Paso Del Norte international bridge at 1:30pm today temporarily preventing the northbound flow of traffic after a large group of individuals formed on the Mexican side of the border and approached the international boundary posing a potential threat to make a mass entry.
‘The CBP response included the deployment of physical barriers to restrict entry. As of 5 pm there is no traffic processing occurring at Paso Del Norte. There were also temporary disruptions at two other crossings because of appearance of groups of migrants. Barricades were used at the Stanton Bridge crossing from 2pm until 2:45pm and at the Bridge of the Americas from 2:45pm until 3:30pm.’
‘The Office of Field Operations Special Response Team and U.S. Border Patrol agents have been assisting CBP officers.’
The group reached the hump of the bridge, where Customs and Protection elements prevented their passage with barricades of wires and tear gas
The horde was mostly men but also included women and children accompanied with children
US officials (pictured) said they ‘implemented port hardening measures’ including the use of the fencing and concrete barricades
Sunday’s sudden surge comes after sharp drop in illegal border crossings since December.
The decrease in border crossings followed Biden’s announcement in early January that Mexico would take back Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans under a pandemic-era rule that denies migrants the right to seek asylum as part of an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
At the same time, the U.S. agreed to admit up to 30,000 a month of those four nationalities on humanitarian parole if they apply online, enter at an airport and find a financial sponsor.
The administration has also proposed generally denying asylum to anyone who travels though another country on their way to the U.S. without seeking protection there – effectively all non-Mexicans who appear at the U.S. southern border.
Agents detained migrants more than 2.5 million times at the southern border in 2022, including more than 250,000 in December, the highest on record.
According to a U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, Border Patrol agents stopped migrants about 130,000 times in February, similar to January.
More than 100,000 migrants each month were being released in U.S. border cities late last year with notices to appear in immigration court or report to immigration authorities.