Louisiana is joining Texas in its fight to secure the US-Mexico border. Over the next few days, lawmakers in the Pelican State will vote on a bill that would give Louisiana police officers the right to arrest anyone who illegally enters or re-enters the country – similar to a law Texas passed last year.

What Is Senate Bill 388? 

Senate Bill 388 was introduced by State Sen. Valarie Hodges (R-LA) on March 18 in an effort to curb the record number of illegal immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border daily. “We have a crisis at the border that we can and we must address, and that’s what this bill seeks to do,” she said. 

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The law would make illegal immigration a crime in Louisiana – and violators would face up to a year in prison and a $4,000 fine for a first offense, and up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine for a second offense. 

Louisiana Would Also Create Interstate Compact With Texas

One provision in the bill would authorize Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry to form a compact with Texas and other states to reduce illegal border crossings by sharing intelligence and resources. 

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This comes just a few months after Landry signed an executive order that demands the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections regularly publish information on crimes that immigrants commit in the state. 

SB 388 Approved By State Senate Committee

Senate Bill 388 was approved by the Senate’s Judiciary C Committee on Tuesday (March 26). Supporters of the bill agreed that something needed to be done to secure the border, while those who opposed said it would crowd jails and result in kids being separated from parents. 

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“I’ve seen the impact of deportation on kids. It is horrendous. They will never get over it,” said Susan Weishar, a research fellow at the Jesuit Social Research Institute. Another expert said it ‘would create the need for more judges, more prosecutors, more public defenders.’

Hodges Says Federal Government Isn’t Doing Their Job

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Hodges criticized the Biden Administration for their ‘open border’ policy – highlighting their inaction as the border crisis worsens. She couldn’t sit around and watch her community (and surrounding communities) suffer. 

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“It’s something that I’ve been concerned about for several years. The fact that the federal government is not doing their job and they’re not protecting us,” she said earlier this week. 

Worried About Rise In Crime, Drugs, And Trafficking

Hodges went on to liken protecting the border to protecting one’s house – arguing that you wouldn’t just let someone come inside your house. Unfortunately, that’s what she sees Biden doing at the US-Mexico border. 

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“We’re saying anybody and everybody come on in, and we’re finding out that there’s drug cartels, human trafficking cartels, trafficking children, women and men and boys with labor and sex trafficking,” she continued – adding her concern for the rise in terrorist and gang activity.

Bill Expected To Pass Through Republican-Led Legislature

In order for Senate Bill 388 to find its way to Gov. Landry’s desk, it must first pass the State Senate and House of Representatives. The good news is that shouldn’t be a problem since both houses are dominated by Republicans. 

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The House of Representatives has 73 Republicans and 32 Democrats, while the Senate has 28 Republicans and 11 Democrats. Valarie Hodges is expected to get all the help she needs to push this bill through both houses with ease – and Gov. Landry is expected to sign it.

Texas Passed A Similar Law In December

Louisiana’s Senate Bill 388 is modeled after a Texas bill – Senate Bill 4 – that was passed by the State Legislature in November and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott the following month. 

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The bill allows Texas police to arrest people for illegally crossing the Mexico border. Violators could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor (punishable by up to six months in jail). A second offense would be a second-degree felony (up to 20 years in prison). 

Texas’ Migrant Arrest Law Held Up In Court

Senate Bill 4 was scheduled to take effect on March 5, but a preliminary injunction to block the bill was signed in February. Texas appealed the ruling and sent the case to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which then sent it to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

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The Supreme Court allowed SB4 to take effect on March 19, and it did – but only for a few hours. It was ultimately sent back down to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which blocked the law until a decision was made. 

White House Press Secretary Criticizes Louisiana Bill

Now that Louisiana is preparing to pass a similar bill, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is speaking out – claiming that it will ‘not only make communities in Texas less safe,’ but it ‘will also burden law enforcement and sow chaos and confusion at our southern border. 

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She described it as ‘another example of Republican officials politicizing the border while blocking real solutions.’ Unfortunately for Biden and Democrats across the country, other Republican-led states are joining in on the action. 

4. Iowa (Senate File 2340)

Senate File 2340 was passed by the Iowa Senate on March 5 and the Iowa House of Representatives on March 19. It would give Iowa law enforcement to arrest undocumented immigrants who were previously denied entry into the United States.

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“I believe that in order to protect our communities and our state, we must push the envelope. And that is what this legislation does,” Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison said. If signed by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, the bill would take effect in July.

3. New Hampshire (US-Canada Borders)

New Hampshire might be more than 2,000 miles away from the US-Mexico border, but it shares a 58-mile border with Canada. Earlier this month, New Hampshire lawmakers passed a series of bills to help shore up that border. 

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One of the laws would allow property owners to put up ‘No Trespassing’ signs without losing their tax breaks, while also allowing local law enforcement to arrest people suspected of being migrants. 

2. Tennessee (HB 2124/SB 2576)

Under current Tennessee law, local law enforcement is allowed to report to the federal government when they arrest someone who’s unauthorized to be in the US. A new law introduced this year would make it a requirement. 

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“All we are trying to do is, if you are here illegally and you commit yet another crime that law enforcement should report you to the federal officials so that they can make a determination whether or not that person should be deported from our country,” said Republican Sen. Brent Taylor of Memphis. 

1. Oklahoma

Last week, Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond called on lawmakers to quickly pass a bill that would allow law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants. It didn’t take long for House Speaker Charles McCall to answer that call. 

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In a press release, McCall vowed to file legislation to secure the state’s border against illegal immigration. “Oklahoma will stand ready to defend its borders from all who would enter our country illegally,” McCall said.