With Texas on the verge of allowing state police to arrest migrants and order them back across the border, the U.S. Bishops’ Conference Migration chair has criticized both the “false narrative” he believes the policy would accentuate, and the hardship it would force on migrants.
“It saddens me,” Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, the USCCB Migration chair, said of the legislation. “I’m very disappointed in the narrative that is being promoted to this day that people who are fleeing to our border are a threat to us in the first place. It’s just a tremendous misunderstanding of what’s happening.”
Speaking with Crux, Seitz highlighted that unlike federal border authorities, under this legislation Texas police would have the authority to send migrants back across the border without even hearing their asylum claims, which “leaves these people stateless with no way to care for their family.”
The new legislation, Texas House Bill 4 (H.B. 4), passed the state House on Oct. 26. The state Senate already passed its own version of the bill, so with the House’s approval it now goes back to the Senate for the two chambers to agree on a version. Once that happens, the legislation heads to the desk of Texas Governor Greg Abbott for his signature, which he is expected to provide.
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