Texas begins arresting migrants for trespassing


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has advised state law enforcement officials to begin arresting migrants crossing into the state on trespassing charges as part of a new initiative to mitigate illegal broader crossings, according to The Associated Press.

Authorities on Thursday announced that at least 10 people had been arrested at the border, with more to come, the news outlet noted.

Abbott first announced his plans to crack down on border crossings in June along with a commitment to follow through on former President Trump's promise to complete building a wall at the southern border.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice told the AP that an empty state prison in Dilley, Texas, is being used to hold detainees, with the expectation that up to 950 people can be held at the facility.

Nearly all of the arrests so far have been single adult men, Val Verde County Attorney David Martinez told the news outlet. He also said that he was advised that the number of arrests could reach 100 or 200 a day.

“[Those numbers] would overwhelm not only my office, but our entire system pretty quickly," Martinez told The Associated Press.

He also specified that families will not be arrested if they are caught trespassing, according to the AP.

“If John Doe is caught on my property and he has his wife and his children with him, chances are he’s not going to be arrested," Martinez said. “That's what's been represented to me.”

Abbott has reportedly focused much of his criticism on President Biden's handling of the influx of migrants coming to the border on Val Verde County.

“The state jail commission has worked out a way to jail far more people that are currently being jailed," he reportedly said during a Saturday visit to the area.

The Texas governor also said that he anticipated people who are arrested to spend time behind bars, though Martinez told the AP that he would handle cases a bit differently.

“My office is working really hard to try to minimize the amount of time that they have to sit in that jail," he said.

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