Rep. Hefner files bill to make illegal entry state felony
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas state representative has filed legislation that would create a state penalty for anyone illegally crossing the border into Texas.
Texas State Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant) discussed HB 1600 on Friday. The bill makes illegal entry to the U.S. through Texas a third degree state felony in addition to its current federal crime status.
“The federal government has completely failed at securing our southern border and protecting our country,” Hefner said. “There are currently some federal penalties on the books for coming into the country illegally, but there is not a state penalty. And so what HB 1600 does is it creates a state crime for illegal entry into the country, coming in anywhere but from a port of entry.”
Hefner said the House introduced a large packet of new legislation concerning border security, and his bill is just “one piece of that.” Other issues addressed in what Hefner called a “comprehensive approach” are cartel responses, and increased penalties for fentanyl crimes, trafficking, and stash houses.
Hefner made it clear throughout the discussion that “we want people to come here, but we want them to come the right way.” He stated that he was confident the new border legislation would make its way through the house and senate, and onto the governor’s desk.
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