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Republicans push bill empowering local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws following Title 42's demise

EXCLUSIVE: Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate seek to empower local law enforcement across the country to enforce U.S. immigration law following the demise of Title 42 last week.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., along with Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., plan to reintroduce legislation Wednesday granting state and local law enforcement the authority to “investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain, or transfer an illegal immigrant who has entered the U.S.”

The bill, officially known as The Empowering Law Enforcement Act, would also provide the Department of Homeland Security flexibility concerning the length of time criminals in the U.S. illegally could be detained and ensure they are not released back into American communities.

US LAWMAKERS WEIGH IN ON END OF TITLE 42, BIDEN’S BORDER CRISIS: ‘WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING’

BIDEN’S TITLE 42 DISASTER IS MAKING AMERICA LOS ANGELES

migrant crossing US

A U.S. Border Patrol agent, right, speaks to immigrants before they are transported from a makeshift camp between border walls, between the U.S. and Mexico, on May 13, 2023 in San Diego. The U.S. government’s COVID-era Title 42 policy, which for the past three years had allowed for the quick expulsion of irregular migrants entering the country, expired May 11. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Carter told Fox that policies like “defund the police” had already stretched border patrol agents thin, and that the bill would provide more resources to properly support their mission.

“This bill will empower law enforcement to enforce immigration laws, even in sanctuary cities, so that they can keep our communities safe and restore law and order. With the recent influx in border crossings due to the expiration of Title 42, this is an all hands on deck situation,” he said.

The rush of tens of thousands of migrants overwhelmed Customs and Border Protection. Days earlier, authorities green lit “safe” mass street releases if CBP and NGO partners are unable to hold the overflow of migrants, leading to the largest wave of mass releases in history.

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Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Bill Melugin and Ashlyn Messier contributed to this report.

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