TEXAS — After state lawmakers approved a bill that could be of the nation’s strictest immigration laws, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has announced it's prepared to take legal action if Gov. Greg Abbott signs it.

What You Need To Know

  • The ACLU of Texas is ready to sue if Gov. Greg Abbott signs Senate Bill 4 into law

  • SB4 would allow state police to arrest migrants and give judges the power to deport migrants who enter the country illegally

  • If passed, SB4 would be one of the nation's harshest immigration laws

  • The ACLU says the bill fuels racial profiling and harassment

Senate Bill 4 would allow state police to arrest migrants, even if officers are nowhere near the border. It would also give local judges the power to order migrants to leave the U.S. if they enter the country illegally.

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Lawmakers also approved Senate Bill 3, which would give Gov. Abbott another $1.5 billion in taxpayer money to use for border-related projects such as expanding the border wall and installing razor wire and floating buoys. Since it was launched in 2021, Abbott has been ramping up border security efforts through the controversial Operation Lone Star. Among other initiatives, it involves busing migrants from Texas to New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and other sanctuary cities.

Oni K. Blair, executive director at the ACLU of Texas, calls the bill fuel for racial profiling and harassment.

“Texas politicians have pushed through some of the most radical anti-immigrant bills ever passed by any state. This legislation is completely out of touch with our values and who we aspire to be as Texans,” Blair said. “Senate Bill 4 (88-4) overrides federal immigration law, fuels racial profiling and harassment, and gives state officials the unconstitutional ability to deport people without due process, regardless of whether they are eligible to seek asylum or other humanitarian protections. If signed into law, these bills will directly harm people seeking asylum, Black and Brown communities, and the core principles of our democracy.”