The Texas State Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would give Texas law enforcement officers jurisdiction to enforce federal laws intended to – in the words of the bill’s author – “stop illegal alien criminals at the border.”
Texas would have to obtain this authority through an interstate compact with at least one other state, and the approval of the United States Congress, without the President’s approval.
The Interstate Compact Clause, United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 10, recognizes that the states have the authority to create an interstate compact validated by the U.S. Congress. Such compacts date back hundreds of years. They allow states to act outside the constraints of the federal government, with appropriate deference to the will of Congress.
The author of S.B. 1252, Senator Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), told Breitbart Texas, “Our objective with SB 1252 is clear: a more safe and secure America! The way to reach this goal is to completely seal our borders, except for authorized crossings via legal ports of entry, and enforce current laws already on the books. If the federal government will not protect us from violent criminal aliens, then Texas must.”
Senate Bill 1252 would become federal law following Congressional consent. Once in effect, it would require the governor of Texas to “coordinate, develop, and execute an interstate compact for border security among interested states.”
The governor would also be obliged to “call a special session of the legislature to adopt a compact … on or before the 31st day after another state adopts the compact.”
The interstate compact provisions required under the bill must include “operational control of the state’s border with Mexico by the total detection and apprehension or deflection of illegal aliens attempting to cross the border in this state;” and “otherwise enforcing federal immigration laws, including detecting, apprehending, detaining, prosecuting, releasing, and monitoring of illegal aliens.”
Senator Kolkhorst told Breitbart Texas, “The issue of illegal immigration on our border continues to be a major concern for Texans. That’s why we’ve stepped up our state’s investment by hundreds of millions of dollars to fund border security operations that the Federal government has ignored.”
“Another solution is Senate Bill 1252, which I’m proud to author with Senator Hall, to enable Texas to join an interstate compact with other states so that we can enforce federal immigration laws that aren’t being enforced today,” Kolkhorst continued.
S.B. 1252 amends Title 7 of the Texas Government Code relating to interstate compacts on border security and immigration enforcement. The bill passed in the Senate on a partisan vote of 20 to 11.
“This is your government stepping-up to step into what is a void,” Senator Hall told witnesses at the hearing on the bill before the Senate subcommittee on Border Security, as reported by Breitbart Texas.
Hall said he wanted to “correct a situation that needs correcting,” charging that the federal government is not doing the job they are paid to do.
Regarding the motivations of those who would keep the border unsecured, Hall said, “We know what it is, we do not have to say what it is.”
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2