Gov. Abbott signing anti-smuggling bill in Rio Grande Valley

MCALLEN, Texas (KTRK) -- Gov. Greg Abbott, still in the border region, sign into law Wednesday a bill that enhances the criminal penalty for human smuggling.

While Senate Bill 576 went into effect Sept. 1, the ceremonial signing highlights the burden lifted from law enforcement when it comes to smugglers and payments.

The new law means authorities will no longer have to prove that payment is made in exchange for services in order to charge someone with the crime.

Abbott was joined by leaders from the Rio Grande Valley to sign the bill.

It's the latest in a series of approvals by the governor, including a border security funding bill worth nearly $2 billion. The package nearly triples the amount that Texas spends on border defense in the next two-year budget cycle.

MORE: Bill tripling Texas' border security budget and allocating $750 million to wall construction now law
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