Texas officials are trying to take immigration enforcement into their own hands


Gov. Greg Abbott has constructed a chain-link fence in Del Rio, Texas, to stop migrants.

On Tuesday, Fox News reporter Bill Melugin posted pictures on Twitter of a chain link fence in Del Rio, Texas, near the U.S.-Mexico border, that representatives of the Texas Department of Public Safety told him had been erected on orders from Gov. Greg Abbott (R).

Melugin said the intention is to make it possible for state officials to arrest migrants under Texas law instead of leaving them to be apprehended by Border Patrol under federal immigration law.

Melugin wrote, "Texas DPS tells me the idea is to cut the feds out of the equation. No trespass signs allow them to arrest on local charges. Instead of calling Border Patrol, they will take migrants to jail for violating Texas law."

Currently, migrants crossing the border who are apprehended by Border Patrol have their claims for asylum evaluated to determine whether they can stay in the United States.

Abbott, along with Republican governors and members of Congress, has railed against the Biden administration for halting construction of the border wall initiated by former President Donald Trump.

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation terminating the state of emergency at the border that Trump had declared, halting wall construction, and stopping the diversion of funds originally intended for the military that Trump had reallocated to pay for it.

"Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution," Biden said in the Jan. 20 proclamation.

On June 16, Abbott announced his intention to build a "border wall."

"In the Biden Administration's absence, Texas is stepping up to get the job done by building the border wall," Abbott said in a statement.

The pictures Melugin posted show a chain link fence, unlike the more solid wall that was built at other sites during Trump's presidency.

The placement of the fence may also preclude Abbott's plan for apprehending migrants.

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) pointed out, "Unless this chain link fence is built exactly along the US-Mexico boundary, it is highly likely that it stands feet, yards or even miles away from the border. If that's the case then migrants arriving at the fence are already on American soil and have the right to request asylum."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.