State of Fear: Will Texas Enforce SB4 During Disaster? [Law Targets Any Perceived Undocumented Person]

According to a lawsuit [Complaint, PDF] challenging the constitutionality of Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB4) [text, PDF], the law violates [text, PDF] the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments. SB4 allows officers to question the immigration status of those arrested. It allows local police to subject perceived undocumented immigrants to enhanced interrogation based upon protected traits including race, ethnicity, national origin, and immigration status. The bill also subjects officials who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agents to punishments such as criminal charges or removal from office.

MALDEF stated [press release] that the bill will increase racial profiling against Latinos and other minorities by subjecting them "to discriminatory stops and questioning by law enforcement officials who have no training and would not be subject to limits on when they question individuals about immigration status." Austin filed its own complaint to introduce its own specific claims, although its allegations are largely similar to those of the other cities—particularly San Antonio's. In May the cities of El Cenizo and El Paso [Complaints, PDF] filed suits hoping to halt the bill. Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF’s president and general counsel, stated that the cases are likely to be consolidated. [MORE]