Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has signed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott into law allowing peace officers to arrest people who have entered the country illegally.
López Obrador, often referred to as AMLO, delivered a scathing critique of Abbott at a news conference on Tuesday. He also lectured him on history.
“He wants to be the Republican vice presidential nominee. In the United States he wants to be popular with these measures,” López Obrador said after he was asked about the new Texas law. Abbott signed the legislation into law on Monday.
“You’re not going to win anything,” he warned Abbott. “On the contrary, he loses sympathy because there are so many Mexicans in Texas, so many immigrants. He forgets that. Texas is from MexicoLike 10 states of the United States of America.”
López Obrador pledged to protect “our countrymen and migrants” and said Mexico already has a challenge to the law.
The new law makes illegal entry into the country a state crime, a misdemeanor. A peace officer, that is Broadly defined and may include local police officers and state medical board security officers who may investigate a person’s citizenship and immigration status if they believe they entered the United States illegally. If so, a magistrate can order them to leave the country.
Abbott’s press office did not respond to a request from NBC News specifically about Obrador’s criticism. However, Abbott said in a statement that Biden has not secured the border, so Texas has the constitutional authority to do so.
López Obrador said Abbott had forgotten that America was “integrated and strengthened” by the world’s immigrants. He instructed Abbott on religious grounds.
“He forgets that the Bible says not to mistreat strangers… This man knows what he’s done,” he said.
He added more criticism, chastising Abbott for taking migrants to New York, Chicago and the home of Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington, D.C., over the winter, and not coordinating with cities hosting immigrants, many of whom are seeking asylum. requests.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the GOP presidential candidate, has signed tough immigration laws that have led immigrants, workers and their families — some of whom are U.S. citizens or legal residents — to leave the state.
López Obrador warned Abbott could face the same political fate as Republican DeSantis.
“He (DeSantis) was leading in the polls. He wasn’t ahead of Trump, but he was in second place and he started with those measures and fell,” he said.
Trump polls ahead of all other GOP candidates heading into the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses. DeSantis was once considered Trump’s strongest challenger, but his campaign has floundered and his bid is in jeopardy if he doesn’t make a strong showing in Iowa.
“This is what will happen to the governor of Texas because of those decisions,” López Obrador said.
Abbott has been running his own immigration operation in Texas for years, using Texas Public Safety Troopers to patrol the state highway, police the border, stop drivers and check on people here illegally, and arrest people for criminal trespassing while crossing private land. .
He is holding those arrested in prison units that have been converted into state immigration prisons. Those arrested were turned over to federal authorities for deportation, but authorities were forced to release many of the immigrants after counties failed to collect fees within the time mandated by law. In some cases, they have been deported despite pending immigration or asylum claims.
Abbott recently had to back out of another conflict with Mexico. He was forced to remove the giant buoys he had ordered to block a crossing of the Rio Grande. Experts showed that they were in the territory of Mexico.
In addition to the Illegal Entry Detention Act, Abbott has signed legislation to generate $1.5 billion Also border tailLSome added to the $10 billion already spent on his administration’s border-immigration operation.
“Texas will take this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Abbott said in a statement Monday.
Groups are challenging the law as unconstitutional
Abbott has been criticized for usurping immigration enforcement powers associated with the federal government; The Illegal Entry Act and parts of his act have been seen as an attempt to test that federal power in court.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Texas Civil Rights Project filed a lawsuit Tuesday calling the law unconstitutional.
Complaint alleges violation of law Dominant clause The ACLU said in a statement that the U.S. Constitution authorizes Texas judges to order a person’s deportation, regardless of whether the person is eligible for asylum or other humanitarian protections under federal law.
Anand Balakrishnan, senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s Immigrant Rights Program, said the law is fatally flawed and would disproportionately harm black and brown people, regardless of their immigration status.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics in Texas outnumber whites.
In some communities the law may be prohibitive. Some counties and law enforcement agencies have said they will enforce the new law Can be expensive to their communities.
In Arlington, Texas, between Dallas and Fort Worth, the police department said the federal government is better placed to handle immigrants and that immigration remains a federal issue, The Associated Press reported. reported.