Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a package of bills at the state Capitol to continue to strengthen the southern border. Specifically, the Republican governor enacted six laws in response to the border crisis caused by the Biden administration.
"Proud to sign a sweeping package of border security bills into law this afternoon. Texas will continue to hold the line against Biden's border crisis. I also announced the deployment of new marine floating barriers to deter illegal crossings at hotspots along the Rio Grande," Abbott said via his Twitter account.
Proud to sign a sweeping package of border security bills into law this afternoon.
Texas will continue to hold the line against Biden's border crisis.
I also announced the deployment of new marine floating barriers to deter illegal crossings at hotspots along the Rio Grande. pic.twitter.com/C7JlNgXk6M
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 8, 2023
Through a press release, the governor of Texas confirmed that $5.1 billion would be allocated to security forces to provide them with better resources to combat the border crisis.
Mexican cartels to be designated as foreign terrorist organizations
Within the immigration policy promoted by Abbott, one of the main objectives is to fight against Mexican cartels. The first of the bills signed into law "designates Mexican drug cartels and criminal organizations as foreign terrorist organizations." In addition, penalties are increased and these structures are added to intelligence databases.
"Today, public enemy number one is the Mexican cartels, and they impact every community in Texas and the United States," said Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety. "Our mission is to detect and interdict transitional criminal activity and create proactive strategies to combat it. It's dangerous to cross between ports of entry, and securing the border between them is ideal to fight Mexican cartels."
Use of drones, increased authority for border agents and protection for landowners
Another of the enacted bills is focused on strengthening security forces. They will be able to use drones as long as they are used for a border operation or mission. Agents will also have greater authority to carry out stops, searches and seizures at each border checkpoint, according to other new legislation.
In the face of the Biden administration's ineffectiveness on immigration issues, Abbott will be able to "coordinate and execute an interstate compact for border security among interested states without congressional approval." Finally, Texans who own property will be protected from trespassers who invade or commit crimes on their property. They will be compensated with up to $75,000 for damages that may be caused to them.
Installation of a buoy barrier on the Rio Grande
In addition to the six bills signed into law, Greg Abbott announced that a barrier composed of buoys will be installed on the Rio Grande River in order to "deter and stop" the massive influx of illegal immigrants.