Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) introduced a bill on Wednesday that would authorize local and state law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws in response to federal agencies being overwhelmed amid the historic surge of illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In a press release, the "Empowering Law Enforcement Act" will amend the "Immigration and Nationality Act" to "grant state and local law enforcement inherent immigration enforcement authority to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain or transfer a migrant that has entered the U.S. illegally." Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) have signed onto the bill.
In addition to Border Patrol being bogged down with processing illegal immigrants who are willingly turning themselves in, U.S. Immigration Enforcement and Customs has seen a dramatic decrease in carrying out arrests and deportations as a result of new policies put forth by the Biden administration.
"If the Biden Administration is insistent on taking away ICE’s ability to enforce our immigration laws, then we should make sure our state and local law enforcement has the authority to respond to the influx of illegal migrants in our communities," Tuberville said. "'The Empowering Law Enforcement Act' takes a twofold approach to [address] the intentional enforcement gap created by President Biden’s open border policies: first, by giving state and local officers the ability to enforce immigration laws when federal offices are prohibited from doing so, and second, by extending the detention period for dangerous criminal aliens while their removals are processed. The Biden Administration has failed our law enforcement at the expense of American communities, and this bill will remedy that moving forward."
The bill, if it becomes law, would "ensure that illegal migrants are detained in federal custody upon state or local law enforcement request" and "reimburse state or local authorities for related incarceration and transportation costs."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection released its apprehension numbers at the southwest border for the month of April this week, revealing apprehensions continue to remain high.
In April, CBP had 178,622 encounters with immigrants attempting to illegally cross into the United States from Mexico, up from 173,348 apprehensions in March. Under the Centers for Disease Control's Title 42 authority, 111,714 expulsions were made during the same time period.