sb4 texas
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
By Eddie Tamrakar
Senior Immigration Paralegal

In light of the recent enactment of SB 4 in Texas, it is more important than ever to be informed about how this law affects our immigrant community and to understand your rights. Our law firm is dedicated to providing you with the necessary guidance and support in these changing times.

What is SB 4? SB 4 is a Texas state law that mandates local law enforcement to comply with ICE detainer requests. This law prohibits Texas cities, counties, or agencies from limiting their assistance with ICE or Border Patrol. However, it is crucial to note that SB 4 does not change immigration law itself nor does it deputize police to enforce federal immigration laws.

Key Aspects of SB 4:

  • Creation of State Crimes: SB 4 introduces state criminal offenses for illegal entry and reentry into Texas, significantly expanding the scope of state law enforcement in immigration matters.
  • Judicial Orders: Judges in Texas are authorized, in some cases required, to order individuals deported under certain circumstances.
  • Law Enforcement’s Role: The bill empowers Texas police to detain and charge individuals suspected of illegal entry or reentry.
  • Potential Penalties: Individuals can face up to 6 months in jail for illegal entry and 10-20 years for illegal reentry. Additionally, refusing to comply with a deportation order can result in 2-20 years of imprisonment.
  • Enforcement Prohibitions: Enforcement is prohibited in specific locations such as schools, places of worship, and healthcare facilities.

Know Your Rights

  • Rights During Police Stops: Individuals have the right to remain silent and are not generally required to answer questions about their immigration status. However, nonimmigrants on visas may face different legal requirements.
  • Documentation Recommendations: Carrying proof of legal presence, asylum status, or DACA benefits is advisable.

Effective Date and Next Steps

  • Implementation Date: SB 4 is set to take effect on March 5, 2024.
  • Ongoing Developments: We will continue to monitor and update on legal challenges, enforcement practices, and any further legislative or judicial developments related to SB 4.

FAQs on Senate Bill 4 (SB 4)

1. What is SB 4?

SB 4 is a Texas law making illegal border crossings a state crime, allowing police   to arrest individuals for these offenses.

2. When will SB 4 take effect?

The law is scheduled to take effect on March 5, 2024.

3. What crimes does SB 4 introduce?

It creates state crimes for illegal entry and reentry into Texas.

4. Can Texas police enforce immigration laws?

Under SB 4, Texas police can detain individuals suspected of illegal entry or reentry.

5. What are the penalties under SB 4?

Penalties include up to 6 months in jail for illegal entry and 10-20 years for illegal reentry.

6. Are there locations exempt from SB 4 enforcement?

Yes, enforcement is prohibited in schools, places of worship, healthcare facilities, and SAFE-ready facilities.

7. Can undocumented immigrants be arrested anywhere in Texas?

Yes, the bill allows for the arrest of undocumented immigrants throughout the state.

8. How does SB 4 affect asylum seekers?

Arrest under SB 4 before surrendering to Border Patrol could affect asylum claims.

9. What rights do individuals have if stopped by police under SB 4?

Individuals have the right to remain silent and are not generally required to disclose their immigration status.

We Are Here to Help: Our law firm is committed to standing by our community during these challenging times. If you have any questions or need legal assistance regarding SB 4 or any other immigration-related matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Stay tuned for more insights and updates from the world of immigration law. Until the next newsletter!



About the Author
Eddie joined the Zepeda Law Firm in 2022, with over 8 years of experience. Born amidst the scenic landscapes of Nepal, Aatithya Raj Tamrakar knows all too well the challenges and aspirations of the immigrant experience. His own journey from the towering Himalayas to the United States has been one of grit, determination, and unwavering spirit. Upon his arrival to the U.S., Aatithya didn’t just witness the complexities of immigration but lived them. His firsthand experience made him deeply empathetic towards others navigating the intricate labyrinth of immigration laws.