TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Smith County Sheriff approves of new senate bill that could increase border security, expected to be signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott.
“I believe we got to do something,” said Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith.
The Texas House approved Senate Bill 4 after weeks of debating.
On Wednesday morning, Abbott posted on “X” that he’s looking forward to signing SB-4 into law. It will give law enforcement the ability to arrest migrants who they suspect crossed illegally into the U.S. It would also allow a state judge to deport people.
“This is a tool in the toolbox for them to use to secure the border,” said state representative Jacey Jetton, District 26.
Smith who testified to the Texas House on this bill in Austin last week, said he believes the law continues to address border issues.
“It’s something that needs to happen,” Smith added. “If it needs to go through the court system, it needs to happen sooner rather than later and I applaud Governor Abbott for trying to save Texans.”
Sheriff Smith adds Smith County has had issues with undocumented immigrants like counties near the border.
“We should be considered here in Smith County, Texas a border because they end up here just as much as they do stopping on the border itself,” he said.
Push back is expected on “SB-4.”
The Mexican government rejected the new law saying it violates human rights, as some called it “unconstitutional.”
“While I agree, we are testing and pushing envelopes,” said State Senator Charles Perry. “The state has every right to protect its citizens and this nation has every right to expect Texas to do that, when called to do it. We will see who is right.”
There’s no word yet on when Abbott could sign the bill into law.