Skip to Content
Services Available in Spanish and Gujurati
Se Habla Español 832-514-4030
courthouse building
Last December, Texas governor Greg Abbot signed into law Senate Bill 4, which makes illegally crossing the border a Class B misdemeanor carrying a punishment of up to six months in state prison. Repeat offenders could face second-degree felony with a punishment of two to 20 years in prison. Additionally, the law requires state judges to order migrants returned to Mexico if they are convicted. Under the law, local law enforcement would be responsible for transporting offenders to the border. 

    Under the Constitution, immigration policy and enforcement is delegated to the federal government, not the states. As well, federal law takes primacy over conflicting state law in what is known as the “Supremacy Clause” of the Constitution. Texas’s Senate Bill 4 is controversial because it mandates immigration enforcement by the state criminal justice system and state law enforcement, in a potential violation of the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. 

    Immediately after the law’s passage, the ACLU of Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project sued Governor Abbot over Senate Bill 4. Those organizations allege that Senate Bill 4 is unconstitutional because it gives immigration enforcement authority to state officials. Currently, the case is still being heard in court, with a hearing set for March 5 in Austin, Texas. At or after the hearing, the judge may stay implementation of the law, or declare it unconstitutional. 

    If the law is allowed to stand, undocumented immigrants in Texas could face further risk in the form of criminal punishment. If you are undocumented in Texas and seek information about your immigration status and the potential risks, you should reach out to experienced immigration attorneys such as The Modi Law Firm, PLLC for a consultation.
Share To: