The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

Senate Bill Four: What is it?

Texas legislatives are fighting tooth and nail to get Senate Bill 4 passed at a federal level, after numerous push backs from the department of justice. The bill aims to allow Texas police to arrest anyone suspected of illegal immigration so long as they have probable cause. Read more to find out about the breakdown of the bill, along with how lawmakers are responding to it.

In 2023, Texas lawmakers approved Senate Bill 4, which aimed to allow Texas police to arrest migrants for illegal immigration. Although it was expected to go into effect by early March, it now faces numerous legal challenges from the U.S. Justice Department and many immigration advocacy organizations. Federal courts have blocked the bill from going into effect, placing it in limbo while legal battles proceed.  

What is Senate Bill 4?  

This new law would make it illegal for immigrants to pass over the Rio Grande border and into the U.S. Upon being arrested, the suspect could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a punishment of up to six months in jail; afterward, the suspect can seek asylum claims or will be deported back to their home country. Although this seems reasonable, we must ask ourselves the point of sending them to jail if we kick them out or let them walk regardless. 

Is this law being enforced?  

As of this moment (March 18th, 2024), the bill has yet to go into effect and is still being held up by numerous lawsuits. However, the looming threat of its potential passing concerns many families who fear losing their new way of life.   

Major Concerns   

The two key issues regard the legality of the bill and the execution of the bill. Firstly, the Department of Justice says that the law will infringe on the federal government’s power over immigration and may lead to racial profiling by the police. In response, Texas claims the new bill is necessary due to the government’s lack of support in stopping illegal immigration. For the time being, the bill has been deemed unconstitutional, but even if it was, many still lament over the potential racial profiling. The bill states an officer will need probable cause to make an arrest, but what defines probable cause is still unclear. Aside from catching them in the act, there aren’t many ways an officer can suspect someone of illegally immigrating without running a background check.  

If you are curious about the progress and exact details of the bill, In that case, you can find it at TX SB4 | 2023 | 88th Legislature 4th Special Session | LegiScan, where they review all the sponsors and legal processes regarding the bill.   


Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All PHS News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *