What is SB4?
SB4 is a law that requires local government authorities to perform the work that corresponds to federal immigration agents. This law imposes punishments on local officials who choose to prioritize the security of their communities instead of supporting the anti-immigrant agenda of politicians.
The law also causes funds to be diverted from local governments to serve the whims of the federal government. It also provokes distrust of local communities in law enforcement authorities and deters victims and witnesses of crimes from reporting them, making our communities more insecure.
Sheriffs and heads of police departments across the state of Texas expressed their opposition to the legislature, but even so the law was approved. Governor Abbott signed SB4 on May 7, 2017.
Cities and counties throughout the state of Texas challenged the constitutionality of SB4 in federal court. On August 30, 2017, a federal judge in San Antonio, Texas, granted a preliminary injunction to the plaintiff, largely blocking SB4. A preliminary injunction or a “preliminary injuction” as it is known in English, is a temporary remedy that prevents a law (or part of the law as in the case of SB4) from entering into force until its constitutionality is resolved in a judgment.
What parts of SB4 were blocked?
Now law enforcement can decide whether or not to cooperate with federal immigration agents, and they will not be punished if they reject the requests of federal immigration agents.
Law enforcement officers are free to speak out against SB4. For example, the El Paso County Chief of Police can speak at a press conference about why asking detainees about their immigration status is a form of racial discrimination that erodes people’s trust in the El Paso police.
What parts of SB4 were not blocked?
Local law enforcement agents can still ask you about your immigration status, if they choose to do so, but only during a lawful arrest or during a valid arrest. A local law enforcement agent can not stop and arrest someone for the sole purpose of questioning him about his immigration status.
Local law enforcement agents are not required to ask about your immigration status. They can choose not to do so without exposing themselves to being fined or punished as they intended to do under SB4.
If a local law enforcement agent decides to question a person about their immigration status, the officer will not be able to arrest that person or stop that person from doing so.