Texas Awaits Supreme Court Ruling on Contested Immigration Bill SB 4


The U.S. Supreme Court is anticipated to rule soon on Texas’ contentious immigration enforcement bill, Senate Bill 4 (SB 4).

The Supreme Court extended a temporary halt to the bill, which was first blocked by a federal judge, but the stay will expire on March 18 at 4 p.m. CT. SB 4, which was supposed to go into effect on March 5, was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in December 2023. The law was later challenged, with detractors claiming it was “unconstitutional.”

The law would allow law enforcement to arrest those accused of unlawfully crossing the border. It will also empower local judges to remove them if guilty.

“It exceeds federal power. “It encourages and invites law enforcement to engage in racial profiling,” said Austin-based immigration attorney Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch. “It is a nightmare ordering state criminal magistrate judges to issue deportations against people who might themselves already have legal status or who are in immigration proceedings.”

Lincoln-Goldfinch went on to say that it is a reality that people are preparing for, raising issues about how they can defend themselves.

“When they interact with law enforcement, what should and should not they say? “What information should they provide?” inquired Lincoln-Goldfinch.

Lincoln-Goldfinch clarified that she is unsure of the Supreme Court’s decision, but that if SB 4 goes into effect, people will leave Texas, the economy will suffer, and corporations may refuse to do business in the state.

“Texas is not safe for immigrants right now,” Lincoln-Goldfinch explained.

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