In a move aimed at countering the current administration’s perceived leniency on immigration enforcement, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has introduced a groundbreaking plan. The “State Border Defense Act,” as it is called, proposes empowering individual states to take significant action in securing their borders, including deporting illegal aliens and constructing barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Hawley’s announcement of the “State Border Defense Act” on Wednesday has stirred significant attention, especially among those who advocate for stricter immigration policies. The core of the plan revolves around granting states the authority to deport illegal aliens when encountered by local law enforcement.
“Our southern border is overrun. Joe Biden’s dangerous open-border policies are making it worse every single day, leaving states like Missouri to deal with the consequences,” the Congressman emphasized in a statement.
Hawley introduces bill to help key border states fight back against illegal immigrationhttps://t.co/1vWxRrRkuW
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 3, 2023
The legislation goes beyond deportation as it also authorizes states such as California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to allocate funds for the construction of physical barriers along the southern border. States would also have the power to prosecute illegal aliens for crimes committed during their border crossings and to remove them from the country.
What makes this plan even more remarkable is its ability to allow states to enforce federal immigration law effectively. It aims to nullify a 2012 Supreme Court case that had significantly limited states’ involvement in immigration enforcement.
“Since the federal government refuses to enforce our immigration laws, states must be able to,” Hawley asserted.
This development comes amid a legal battle between Texas and the Biden administration over the construction of a buoy barrier in the Rio Grande. The Department of Justice has argued that this barrier violates federal law and raises humanitarian concerns, citing “serious risks” to public safety and the environment.
The proposed legislation comes as the Biden administration has faced criticism for its historically low deportation figures. In the first nine months of the current president’s tenure, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents deported a mere 16,351 illegal aliens arrested by local police departments, representing a staggering 70 percent drop compared to 2019 during President Donald Trump’s tenure.
This means that tens of thousands of border crossers and illegal aliens are being released into the U.S. each month by the Biden administration, with only a fraction being put into deportation proceedings.