How Senate Bill 4 Will Impact Texas law in 2018

As immigration policies change throughout the nation, sanctuary cities in Texas stand together against a bill signed by Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this month. Texas Legislature is currently arguing over the controversial Senate Bill 4, which opponents call unconstitutional.

Stirred by The Aftermath of President Trump’s Immigration Policies, the new bill would target sanctuary cities that limit their cooperation with the national government’s immigration policies.

These are the top 3 concerns opponents of the bill are concerned with:

  1. Local Officials

Abbott declared a ban on sanctuary cities in the state of Texas, including Houston, San Antonio, El Cenizo, El Paso, Maverick, and even the capital of Austin. That means that the new strict immigration policies would have to be upheld, regardless of a city’s current stance on the matter.

  1. Lawful Detention

The new law would allow law enforcement to question anyone’s immigration status during “lawful detention”. However, what constitutes as lawful detention has not been clearly defined, suggesting that the bill leaves immigrants vulnerable to unfair treatment during minor violations, such as traffic stops.

  1. Law Enforcement

Furthermore, local officials, such as police chiefs, sheriffs, and possibly officers, would face Class A Misdemeanor charges for refusal or failure to cooperate with the national immigration enforcement.

The Good News is…

Many of the Lone Star State’s sanctuary cities are coming together to protest against the enforcement of Senate Bill 4 and the possible implications it could bring to communities. Even if the bill is passed, provisions can be made to ensure that law enforcement stays fair when handling immigration disputes. Meanwhile, immigration attorneys are educating themselves on the best ways to fight for the rights of immigrants.