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A sweeping border security bill that allows state and local police to arrest undocumented migrants is headed to Gov. Greg Abbot’s desk, The Dallas Morning News reported. The bill also allows state district judges to order those migrants be returned to Mexico.
In addition, a separate bill that provides billions in funding for expansion of a border wall is headed back to the Senate for final approval.
Abbott has indicated he will sign both bills. Legal experts and Democratic legislators say the bill allowing law enforcement to arrest undocumented migrants is unconstitutional.
“Texas Republicans proudly passed legislation that will allow Greg Abbott’s Department of Public Safety to imprison Black and Brown migrants for simply existing in our state,” Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said.
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. David Spiller, R-Jacksboro, defended the measure.
“We still know that the Biden administration has failed and refused to enforce federal immigration laws and secure the border,” Spiller said.
TikTok ban challenged in court
An Austin federal judge will decide whether a ban of TikTok on state-owned and issued devices will stand. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Coalition of Independent Technology Research, kut.org reported. Arguments were heard in the case last week.
The coalition represents university faculty who wish to continue using the social media platform for research and teaching purposes at state institutions. Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the ban on TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company, last December.
Jameel Jaffer of the Knight First Amendment Institute said plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to lift the ban.
“Their work is about the social media platforms,” Jaffer said. “They study the social media platforms, write about the social media platforms, propose regulatory reform relating to the social media platforms. And the ban is impeding them from doing that work.”
Todd Dickerson of the Texas attorney general’s office maintained the ban is a precautionary measure, that few researchers are affected, and that faculty can do their work with TikTok on their personal devices.
Cinnamon applesauce pouches recalled
Elevated levels of lead have been found in several cinnamon applesauce products, prompting a recall and a warning from the Texas Department of Health Services that children who consumed those products should be tested for lead exposure.
The recalled products include:
• WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree pouches
• Schnucks brand cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and variety pack
• Weis brand cinnamon applesauce pouches
Some of the recalled products are sold in Texas through a number of retailers. Parents are urged to check their homes and discard these products.
Getting home safe for the holidays
The holiday season begins this week, and the Texas Department of Transportation is urging everyone to drive sober and urge their loved ones to do the same.
During last year’s 32-day holiday season, 108 people were killed and 229 seriously injured by drunk drivers in crashes across the state.
“A safe and sober ride should be at the top of your list when making plans with family and friends,” Marc Williams, TxDOT executive director, said. “If not, you risk your job, your life, and the lives of others. It’s just not worth it.”
Law enforcement will be on heightened awareness from Dec. 16 through Jan. 1, looking for drunk drivers.