Waco, TX – State officials have announced that the new laws will bolster Texas’ unprecedented border security efforts and crackdown on human smuggling, deter the flow of illegal border crossings, and protect the lives and property of Texans by funding the ongoing construction of Texas’ border wall.
Senate Bill 4 from Special Session #3 (Flores/Guillen) creates a mandatory ten-year minimum prison sentence for smuggling of persons and continuous smuggling of persons. Passed with bipartisan support, the law enhances the criminal penalties for the operation of a stash house and creates a mandatory five-year minimum prison sentence. It also further enhances criminal penalties for victim-related offenses that occurred during the commission of smuggling, such as assault and burglary.
Senate Bill 3 from Special Session #4 (Huffman/Jetton) appropriates $1.54 billion in general revenue to the Trusteed Programs within the Office of the Governor for border security operations and the construction, operation, and maintenance of border barrier infrastructure.
Senate Bill 4 from Special Session #4 (Perry/Spiller) creates a criminal offense for illegal entry into this state from a foreign nation. The law cracks down on repeated attempts to enter Texas by creating the offense of illegal reentry and penalizes offenders with up to 20 years in prison. It also provides the mechanism to order an offender to return to the foreign nation from which the person entered or attempted to enter this state. The law provides civil immunity and indemnification for local and state government officials, employees, and contractors for lawsuits resulting from the enforcement of these provisions.