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Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy

House approves immigration enforcement bill based on contested Texas law

The Louisiana State House in Baton Rouge on March 21, 2024.
Molly Ryan
The Louisiana State House in Baton Rouge on March 21, 2024.

Lawmakers in the House passed a bill that would make it a crime to be in Louisiana if a person entered the country illegally and allow state law enforcement to detain them. It carries penalties up to two years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

It’s similar to a controversial Texas law that’s being challenged in court for undermining the federal government’s authority on immigration law.

The proposal also allows Louisiana to form a compact with Texas to secure the U.S. southern border.

Gov. Jeff Landry already approved sending Louisiana National Guard troops to Texas earlier this year to stop immigrants from crossing the border illegally.

House lawmakers passed the bill in a 74-23 vote. It heads back to the Senate for review of some changes before heading to Landry’s desk.

Molly Ryan is a political reporter and covers state politics from the Louisiana Capitol.