Our statement on Supreme Court decision on Texas’ SB 4

Allowing Texas’ unconstitutional SB 4 ‘Show Me Your Papers’ law to proceed opens door to rampant civil rights violations and intimidation of Latinos and other communities of color

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Biden administration’s emergency request to rule on the constitutionality of Texas Senate Bill 4, the state’s new immigration law being challenged by the Department of Justice and civil rights organizations American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project. In response, UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía released the following statement:

“First of all, we believe this law is unconstitutional. We condemn this decision to temporarily allow Texas to implement SB 4, the 2023 Texas law that empowers state and local police to arrest and charge individuals suspected of crossing the southern border without authorization. Like other state immigration ‘Show Me Your Papers’ laws such as Arizona’s notorious SB 1070, SB 4 grants sweeping powers to Texas state and local law enforcement to racially profile and harass Latinos and other communities of color.

“The Court’s decision to punt on the law’s legality and leave it up to the lower court to decide on this issue will, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor and two other justices stated in their dissent, ‘upend the longstanding federal-state balance of power and sow chaos,’ not only for Hispanics—who make up more than 40% of the state’s population—but for businesses, neighborhoods, and communities all over Texas. State and local law enforcement leaders themselves are concerned that enforcing immigration laws will put an additional burden on their officers—who are not trained to enforce immigrant law—and compromise their ability to do their actual job. We will continue to advocate against the law’s implementation and call on the justices to reaffirm the Court’s decision against SB 1070 when reviewing this law: only the federal government can enforce our nation’s immigration laws. Anything less will subject Latinos and their families to discrimination at the hands of Texas law enforcement and upend Texas’ economy and society.”