Texas can enact state laws as a means to crack down on undocumented immigrants both in the state and those attempting to illegally cross the southern border into the U.S., a high-ranking state’s attorney said recently, according to a report published Wednesday. It would take some creative wording in order to legally circumnavigate the U.S. Constitution, but enacting legislation to legally detain undocumented immigrants is a distinct possibility, Texas Deputy Attorney General Brantley Starr insisted, the Texas Tribune reported.

“You do have the ability to create state-level offenses that have an immigration element to them, as long as they are sufficiently unique,” Starr reportedly said last week during a hearing of the House Committee on State Affairs concerning border security and immigration.

After Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law in June effectively outlawing human smuggling across the southern border into Texas, the state has seen a significant uptick in detentions of undocumented immigrants. Those efforts, however, are not necessarily enforced by federal authorities in so-called sanctuary cities, which allow undocumented immigrants to stay legally and avoid prosecution. Dallas is identified as a sanctuary city.

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