Texas Senate Passes Bill Creating Deportation Process for Illegal Immigrants

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Bill Violates Separation of Powers, Some Republicans Say

In its latest attempt to advance legislation criminalizing unlawful border crossings, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill (SB) 4 and sent it to the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the State Affairs Committee.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued a statement late Thursday night after the Senate passed the bill.

Bill Creates Deportation Process

SB 4 appears to create a quasi-deportation process whereby state magistrates in some cases would order someone to leave the country instead of proceeding with prosecution on a charge of illegally crossing the border. Patrick noted in his statement that illegal immigrants would be “fingerprinted and have a background check” under the bill.

The Senate proceeded with SB 4 over the strong objection of Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), who carried Spiller’s bill in the last special session. Birdwell said that Patrick reassigned the bill to Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) because Birdwell’s view no longer aligned with the majority of his GOP colleagues.

Birdwell suggested that SB 4 violates the “vertical separation of powers between federal and state government” and infringes on the federal government’s authority over immigration enforcement granted in Article I, Section 8.

Bill Controversial Among Republicans

Border security legislation has been one sore point among many between Patrick and Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont). During the third special session, Patrick said Spiller’s bill was a “catch-and-release” policy before the Senate’s revision. Phelan countered that the Senate’s version would have resulted in too many illegal immigrants being incarcerated at taxpayers’ expense.

Source: The Texan

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