MCALLEN (ValleyCentral) — Governor Abbott will visit the Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday to sign Senate Bill 576 into law.
Abbott will be joined by Javier Villalobos, McAllen Mayor, J.M. Lozano, Texas House Representative, and other Rio Grande Valley officials, including law enforcement.
Senate Bill 576 enhances the criminal penalty for human smuggling when a payment is involved.
The bill also eliminates the requirement of proof for the prosecution that a smuggler intended to receive payment for the crime.
Another change the bill adds to the crime is if the person assists “two or more individuals to enter or remain on agricultural land without the effective consent of the owner.”
The crime carries a charge of a third-degree felony which could become a second or first-degree felony if an assault or injury is done to the people being smuggled.
Abbott will sign the bill into law at the McAllen City Hall at 1:30 p.m.