MCALLEN, Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 576 into law on Wednesday in McAllen.
According to a news release, SB 576 enhances the criminal penalty for human smuggling when a payment is involved. SB 576 also eliminates the requirement of proof for prosecution that a smuggler intended to receive payment for the crime of human smuggling.
“As we continue to combat the crisis at our border, the State of Texas is using every tool we have to secure the border and protect innocent lives from crimes related to illegal immigration like human smuggling,” Abbott said. “That is why I am proud to sign Senate Bill 576 into law, which will help us crack down on human smuggling and keep our communities safe. Thank you to Senator Juan ‘Chuy’ Hinojosa and Representative JM Lozano for working together on this legislation and for your efforts to protect vulnerable people from the horrors of human smuggling.”
Prior to the bill signing, Abbott met with McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos and other city officials to discuss McAllen and the entire Rio Grande Valley’s ever-growing economic and cultural impact in the state of Texas. The Governor and city officials also talked about the state’s collaborative efforts with McAllen officials to secure the border and keep Texans safe.