- Proposed Texas law raises fear among activists.
- HB 7 would allow civilians to arrest immigrants.
- The Border Protection Unit would operate like vigilantes.
The Texas House of Representatives is attempting to pass a new bill to combat undocumented immigrants by allowing civilians to arrest or detain immigrants.
According to CNN, House Bill 7 (HB 7) would create a Border Protection Unit (BPU) to combat those trying to enter Texas illegally. This militia would operate like vigilantes.
New Texas bill would allow civilians to arrest or detain immigrants
The unit would «be an organization of professional men and women hired/trained under the authority of the Dept. of Public Safety to protect Texans. Many will be licensed peace officers, others trained and specifically authorized by the Governor to make lawful arrests,» Rep. Matt Schaefer says.
Its stated goal is to strengthen border security and address the growing migration crisis in the region. However, critics argue that this measure would encourage racial discrimination and put people’s fundamental rights at risk.
The bill is supported by Republican State Rep. Ryan Guillen
The bill is supported by Republican Ryan Guillen, a Texas state representative, who argues that the measure would provide an effective solution to address the rise in illegal immigration in Texas.
Support for this proposal has also been endorsed by conservative groups and other Texans who view undocumented immigration as a threat to their economy and safety. These groups believe the bill would give them the ability to protect their homes and neighborhoods from people they consider «illegals».
Critics warn of serious consequences
However, critics of the initiative warn of the serious consequences it could have on civil rights in Texas. Human rights organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), argue that allowing civilians to arrest or detain immigrants would jeopardize the rights and safety of people who could be targeted with racial or ethnic profiling.
The proposal has also been criticized for the impact it could have on trust and cooperation between immigrant communities and law enforcement. Under the Texas Trust Act, enacted in 2017, law enforcement must avoid meddling in immigration matters to foster a relationship of trust with communities.
Passage of this law would also raise serious legal questions
The new bill could undermine these efforts and lead to increased fear and marginalization among the immigrant population. Passage of this law would also raise serious legal questions.
The detention of individuals by civilians without proper training and authority could lead to abuses and violations of the civil rights of immigrants. In addition, it could create chaos in the legal system and overwhelm law enforcement authorities with complaints and uncertain legal situations.