President Trump’s demand for the removal of illegal immigrants has trickled down into the minds of many law makers including those in the state of Texas. SB4, Senate Bill 4, was just passed through the legislature that states if a Texas police officer fails to “honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) requests to hold people in local jails” who are undocumented immigrants who committed a crime, they will be criminally charged for the act. Trump has accused illegal immigrants of taking jobs leaving many Americans unemployed and placing the crime rate increase on them as well. And now, his theories seem to be spreading through others with the new laws and bills that are being enacted.
What Prompted SB4?
Before SB4, ICE made it a priority that if an individual is picked up by an officer in Texas for committing a crime, they are to be held in custody for 48 hours until an ICE official can come and pick them up. From there, they risk being deported back to their home country. While some counties complied, others refused. According to VICE News, Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez announced in January “that her office would not cooperate with ICE detainer requests unless the suspect was charged with a serious felony.” Travis county encompasses cities including Austin.
Another issue involved “some jurisdictions who didn’t enforce all ICE detainers, releasing people that neither you or I would want next to our kids” according to Texas Senator Charles Perry. Perry claims that these undocumented immigrants “are creating an instability in our system when there’s an option to lock them up and deport them.”
Many tears and pleas have been witnessed in the several attempts that have been made to prohibit SB4 from being enacted but it seems anyone who is an undocumented immigrant must tread carefully if they want to remain in the U.S. While some consider the bill racist and unnecessary, others such as Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez claims the “bill undermines public safety and our expertise as law enforcement officials.”
What Does SB4 Mean for Undocumented Immigrants in Texas?
If you or someone you know is arrested, it is crucial that you contact an immigration and deportation attorney in Texas. Police officials are obligated by law to detain these individuals and take them into custody in the event they are caught committing a crime, whether they were guilty or not. And now they are at a higher risk of being deported back to their home country more than ever before. With President Trump carrying out his promises and others following his path, many individuals living in the U.S. are now at risk of being separated from their family in the event they haven’t received their citizenship yet.
This bill is paving a way to a movement that will work to remove illegal immigrants living in the U.S. and it can be expected that efforts will continue.
If you are an undocumented immigrant or know someone who is that is seeking legal aid, USAttorneys.com specializes in connecting individuals such as yourself with a Texas immigration lawyer in your area.