Hawley Introduces Bill To Allow States To Build Their Own Border Barriers

  • Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, has introduced a new piece of legislation called the State Border Defense Act. This proposed law would grant states such as California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas the authority to construct border barriers on federal lands or water situated along the southern border.
  • The bill empowers these states to prosecute and deport illegal immigrants. This legislative effort builds upon a previous bill introduced last year and aims to provide states with the means to enforce federal immigration law, effectively challenging a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that had restricted state involvement in enforcement.
  • The timing of this legislation coincides with an ongoing dispute between Texas and the Biden administration regarding Texas’ efforts to establish a barrier in the Rio Grande. The Department of Justice has contested the construction of this barrier, arguing that it violates federal law, raises humanitarian concerns, and poses significant risks to public safety and the environment.
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