HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Governor Abbott hosted a Summit on June 10 to discuss his plans for immigration and the border wall.
Abbott announced that he wants local law enforcement to arrest people who cross the border illegally and charge them with trespassing, but it is unclear how this will be implemented.
In addition to illegal immigrants being detained and charged with trespassing, they will also be placed into confinement at county jails.
“He wants to add 10,000 new jail spaces for immigrants, but I have a 54-bed jail and I have 50 inmates right now,” said Brewster County Sheriff, Ronnie Dodson.
Dodson said the county typically picks up anywhere between 10 and 50 migrants, so even just arresting 5 would put the county’s jail overcapacity.
“There’s a lot that was talked about that I think has to be worked through to see if it’s really gonna work or not,” said Dodson.
However, immigration attorney, Norma Sepulveda said that Abbott does not have the authority to prosecute for illegal entry. And Biden’s current policies will trump Texas’s differentiating efforts.
Abbott and Arizona Governor Ducey have invoked the Emergency Management Assistance Compact though as of June 10.
This will allow other states to send over their law enforcement officials to Texas to assist in making arrests and jailing.
These new changes need financial backing, and so Abbott has requested that all 31 sheriffs who were in attendance for the summit to submit their budgets next week.
Dodson said that he has no clue what this budget is for and that he doesn’t want to throw good money away.
According to the Brewster Sheriff’s Office, a special legislative session will take place to further discuss what this plan will include.
No official date for the special legislative session was provided.
For now, Abbott has increased the charges for trespassing into the United States–illegal immigrants will be fined and placed in jail for up to 180 days.
Abbott also plans to continue the construction of the border wall, but without the federal government’s financial assistance.