Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and other Democrat county judges across Texas are calling on the Biden administration to intervene against a new state law to punish those illegally crossing Texas’ border.  

In a letter sent by Hidalgo, Travis County Judge Andy Brown, and El Paso County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego, the officials claim that the new legislation will make “local communities less safe.”

In Texas, county judges are the chief executives of local county governments.

Senate Bill 4 creates a new state crime for entering Texas illegally and authorizes Texas law enforcement to arrest and prosecute those who cross the border illegally anywhere in Texas. 

According to the county judges, SB 4 is in “direct violation of the federal government’s jurisdiction over immigration law.” 

However, despite the judges’ claim that the law is an immigration law, Republican State Rep. David Spiller of Jacksboro—who sponsored the bill in the House—says that the only tool officers have is to prosecute people for criminal trespassing.

“That’s generally the only tool. Unless an officer sees something more serious as an undue advance to something of a felony or something else. Generally, the only tool that they have now is to prosecute people under criminal trespass,” Spiller told Fox 4 News.

In addition, the Democrat officials claim the new legislation will harm the United States’ relationship with Mexico. 

The judges claim that Texas is playing with the lives of illegal aliens. 

We want to ensure that the federal government remains in charge of immigration enforcement, not individual states. Our Governor and state legislature have shown that they are willing to play with the lives, safety, and security of immigrants and their own communities just to score political points.

However, under the Biden administration, the Southwest border has seen a record-breaking number of illegal alien encounters. Additionally, the border crisis is costing American taxpayers around $451 billion per year. 

Moreover, after Title 42 expired, the Biden administration attempted to curb illegal alien entries through a new scheme that allowed 30,000 foreign nationals per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to fly into the U.S. In total, nearly 250,000 foreign nationals have been paroled into the U.S. under the program. 

Another scheme the Biden administration is using is the CBP One App. The app allows illegal aliens from all over the world—including countries with terrorism concerns—to set up an appointment for their entry. It is estimated that the administration paroles up to 1,450 inadmissible aliens daily, with 235,172 paroled in federal Fiscal Year 2023.

As the new legislation heads to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk—where he has assured citizens he will sign it—the Democrat county judges are urging the Biden administration to “take any action appropriate to maintain and assert its authority over immigration enforcement.” 

“Texans will protect Texas—especially when the Biden administration has failed and refuses to secure our border and enforce federal immigration law,” said Spiller. 

“It’s the strongest border security bill in the history of our state and our nation,” he concluded.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.