Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed legislation Monday allowing law enforcement officers to arrest illegal aliens.

Abbott’s signature on the legislation, known as SB4, means it will enter into law in March 2024, CBS News reported. The legislation makes illegal entry into Texas a state misdemeanor, CBS reported, with those convicted under the law facing a fine of up to $2,000 or 180 days in jail.

Repeat offenders could face a felony charge and up to 20 years in jail.

“The goal of Senate Bill 4 is to stop the tidal wave of illegal entry into Texas,” Abbott said as he signed the bill in the border city of Brownsville, according to CBS.

Opponents of the measure claim it is unconstitutional and have criticized the Biden administration for not opposing Texas’ efforts more strongly, according to The Associated Press.

The Border Patrol shut down two bridges on the Texas border to combat the entry of illegal aliens on rail cars hours before Abbott signed the legislation, according to the San Antonio News-Express.

Over 188,000 illegal immigrants have been encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border during fiscal year 2024, according to data released by United States Customs and Border Protection, following 2,045,838 encounters in fiscal year 2023, 2,206,436 in fiscal year 2022 and 1,659,206 in fiscal year 2021. A CBP official told the Washington Examiner that there were at least one million “gotaways,” people who evaded Border Patrol, in fiscal year 2023.Harold Hutchison on December 18, 2023

Harold Hutchison on December 18, 2023

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