Texas’ State Deportation Bill—SB 4—Prevented from Taking Effect

(Austin, Texas)—The Immigrant Legal Resource Center applauded a federal judge’s ruling today issuing a preliminary injunction preventing a Texas law allowing state law enforcement officials to arrest and remove migrants believed to have crossed into the southern border without documentation from going into effect on March 5.

“Today a federal court rightly decided to block Texas from enforcing its radical anti-immigrant law, SB 4. SB 4 is a state deportation bill that the court found unconstitutional because it gives state judges the power to order migrants deported to Mexico in violation of the federal immigration system. Moreover, SB 4 gives a broad array of law enforcement officers and regulators wide authority to stop and detain anyone they suspect has crossed into Texas from the southern border without documentation,” said ILRC Policy Attorney & Strategist Jennefer Canales-Pelaez. “This puts all Texans, regardless of status, in danger, especially Black and Brown Texans. While this SB 4 has been temporarily put on hold, all Texans must stand up and demand that this measure—which is sanctioned racial profiling—be permanently struck down. Texans must also continue fighting the impact of a recently enacted smuggling law, also numbered SB 4.”

“We are aware the state of Texas has already appealed this ruling and we hope the higher courts will also see through the haze of racism and strike down SB 4,” Canales-Pelaez said. “If allowed to go into effect SB 4 will no doubt be the blueprint for other anti-immigrant lawmakers in other states to copy.”

SB 4 is an extension of Operation Lone Star, Gov. Greg Abbott’s unconstitutional and deadly law enforcement scheme that wastes vital state resources to target migrants for arrest, jail, and deportation. Created in March 2021 by Abbott and backed by nearly $5 billion of state funds, this operation is designed to criminalize and endanger border communities and migrants alike, many of whom are seeking safety in the United States.

The ILRC has developed this travel advisory map that also includes a “know your rights” section that is being distributed throughout Texas. This resource was developed to educate communities on their rights if they are stopped by law enforcement and the map displays the counties in Texas that have implemented policies and actions against immigrants, particularly under OLS and other anti-immigrant legislation.


The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. Follow us at www.ilrc.org, and on Twitter and Instagram @the_ILRC