PA Lawmaker introduces bill that would criminalize illegal entry into US under state law

27 March 2024- Citing the rising number of crimes committed by illegal immigrants and a dramatic increase in overdose deaths nationwide, Rep. Mike Cabell (R-Luzerne) plans to soon introduce legislation that would criminalize unauthorized migration at the state level in Pennsylvania.

“While it is undeniable that many entering the United States seek better lives and opportunities, the country has recently witnessed a series of high-profile violent crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. Additionally, the number of overdose deaths last year was the highest total in history,” said Cabell. “We obviously need to do something to better protect Pennsylvania citizens, and my bill would help to do just that by cracking down on those who choose to come here illegally.”

Cabell’s proposal would create two criminal offenses relating to illegal entry from foreign nations and illegal re-entry by certain individuals. Specifically, it would define that an alien commits an offense if they enter or attempt to enter the Commonwealth directly from a foreign nation at any location other than a lawful port of entry. Furthermore, if an individual enters or attempts to enter the U.S. after having been previously deported, they would commit another offense.

Cabell noted that his legislation is modeled after the Texas immigration law known as SB4, which gives state law enforcement authorization to arrest migrants suspected of entering the country illegally.

Cabell is currently seeking co-sponsors for his legislation.