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Texas Governor Signs Law Allowing Arrest of Migrants as Illegal Border Crossings Surge in Remote Areas

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a measure that allows Texas law enforcement officials to arrest migrants who enter the state from Mexico without legal authorization, J. David Goodman reports for the New York Times. Democrats, immigrant-rights groups and Hispanic organizations argue that the measure violates the U.S. Constitution and would encourage racial profiling. Even some border sheriffs have also opposed the legislation, expressing concern that it could rapidly overwhelm the local jails and courts given the volume of people coming across the border daily.

In signing the law, Abbott took his most direct step yet in challenging the Biden administration over federal immigration policy, which is currently being negotiated between the president and Congress. Meanwhile, Elliot Spagat reports for the Associated Press that illegal crossings surge in remote areas, with illegal crossings topping 10,000 some days across the border in December. Arrests for illegal crossings topped 2 million for the first time each of the U.S. government’s last two budget years. Arrests in the Border Patrol’s Tucson sector topped all nine sectors on the Mexican border from May to October, except June. Arrests of people in families neared 72,000 in the Tucson sector from Oct. 1 through Dec. 9, more than nine times the same period last year, while arrests of non-Mexicans topped 75,000, nearly quadruple the number from a year ago and more than half of all sector arrests.

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