‘We must take action’: Red state risks legal showdown with Biden DOJ over this key issue

An immigration bill that would allow local police to arrest illegal immigrants has reached Louisiana’s governor’s desk, bringing a potential court battle with the Biden administration one step closer.

Senate Bill 388, authored by Republican Sen. Valerie Hodges, received final approval from the state Senate on Tuesday after a series of amendments. The bill now heads to Gov. Jeff Landry, who is expected to sign it.

The bill would make it a crime for illegal immigrants to enter or re-enter the state after being deported, and violations of the law would be punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $4,000.

Republican state attorneys general fire back at Biden immigration lawsuit: ‘We’re willing to fight’

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a meeting with U.S. Attorney Damien Williams (not pictured) and federal, state and local law enforcement leaders, on Nov. 27, 2023, in New York City. (Eduardo Muñoz/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

The Louisiana governor would also be given the authority to enter into an interstate compact with Texas to curb “the influx of illegal immigrants who threaten the safety and security of the people of Louisiana.”

Hodges, who is also a founding member of the Louisiana Caucus for Freedom, said he is confident the governor will sign the bill and is working with the governor’s staff on the issue.

“I’m very excited because what we’re doing is standing up and trying to protect the people of Louisiana and standing up with the state of Texas,” she said in an interview with Fox News Digital on Tuesday.

Migrants lining up at the border

Migrants at the front of the line will be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (John Michael Raasch/Fox News Digital)

“It’s unfortunate that we have to do this, but if the federal government won’t do it, we have to take action, and that’s what we’re doing through this bill,” she said.

She said one of the main impetus for the bill was national security concerns related to the border, pointing to recent cases of migrants entering military bases.

“The border has to be closed. We can’t waste time,” she said.

Biden Justice Department threatens lawsuit against another Republican state over illegal immigration measures

The law could soon face new litigation from the Biden administration.

So far, the administration has sued Texas, Oklahoma and Iowa over their immigration laws in recent months, with the most recent lawsuit filed earlier this month against an Oklahoma law that was set to take effect in July.

“We filed this lawsuit to ensure that Oklahoma complies with its Constitution and the immigration regulatory framework adopted by Congress,” Principal Deputy Attorney General Brian Boynton said in a statement.

For more coverage on the border security crisis, click here

Jeff Landry of CPAC Texas

Then-Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry speaks at the CPAC Texas 2022 conference at the Hilton Anatole. (Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In a letter to Oklahoma officials, he said the Legislature had implemented a “comprehensive governance plan.” Entry of foreign nationals Laws governing entry and reentry into the United States, including penalties for unlawful entry and reentry.”

“But HB 4156 seeks to create a separate state immigration regime by imposing criminal penalties on states for violating the federal ban on illegal entry and reentry. Thus, HB 4156 encroaches on a field that is occupied and preempted by the federal government,” he said.

Another Republican state moves one step closer to enacting a Texas-style anti-illegal immigration bill

But Republicans argue that the ongoing crisis on the southern border directly affects their states and they need to step in. They say the Biden administration isn’t doing enough to combat the threat.

“My message to the Biden administration is, please take the fight to Oklahoma. We’re willing to fight,” Attorney General Gentner Drummond told Fox News Digital last week.

Louisiana’s attorney general also told Fox News Digital this month that he stands ready to defend his state if the administration sues the state.

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“We are monitoring this bill as it makes its way through Congress,” said Lester Duet, a spokesman for Attorney General Liz Murray. “The Attorney General is committed to protecting the people of Louisiana from the dangers of illegal immigration posed by Joe Biden’s open border policies.”