Status of SB4 (Sanctuary City BAN): it is really up to each city.

Status of SB4 (Sanctuary City BAN): it is really up to each city.  

A panel of three federal judges with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit partially stayed Judge Orlando Garcia’s preliminary injunction against the anti-immigrant, “show me your papers” law SB4 today, allowing certain provisions SB4 to go into effect.


SB 4 makes immigrant people in Big cities a bit safer but make people less safe in all other areas.


Basically, what it comes to is this:  Big cities like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, things will be the same since they are not forced to follow SB4 but all other cities, SB4 will be implemented, putting millions of people in Texas at risk for profiling and discrimination. It can lead to unnecessary and harmful turmoil to cities and counties.

The panel’s decision means that: 4 big cities, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin do not have to follow because they oppose SB4.  In other words, Texas State cannot force the cities (which oppose SB4 bills) to comply with SB4. 

In these four big cities:

  • Public officials are still free to express their views regarding immigration enforcement by law enforcement officers, consistent with the First Amendment.
  • The local agencies and campus police can adopt and enforce policies that “materially limit” the enforcement of immigration law.
  • Local agencies and campus police can engage in a practice that “materially limit” the enforcement of immigration law.



The only SB4 provision that all cities including 4 cities must comply is the following:

  • SB4’s provisions mandating cities and counties “honor and fulfill” immigration detainer requests from the federal government,


Like a welcoming city like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, the business will be as usual.  But all other places in Texas, local cops can act like ICE cops.


What it means is this: whether SB4 is implemented or not is up to the cities and local agencies. Since Big cities like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin oppose SB4, they don’t have to follow SB4.  Dallas cops would not ask immigration status when they pull person over for traffic violations. They would not put on ‘immigration hold” on a person unless it is requested by ICE for a sake of public safety. Dallas like other big cities declared that it is “a welcoming city” and they would not cooperate like ICE in a not essential matter like asking questions about immigration status of a person.  So practically all of immigrants especially undocumented should be careful when they drive or have encounter with law enforcement. This is true especially in other areas beside big cities because city copies in small cities can stop you and ask you for your immigration status, and put on an immigration hold if you do not have a proof of your legal status.  

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The Dallas, Texas, immigration law firm Mr Jack KIM provides immigration legal services to the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Arlington, Irving, Plano, Garland, Mesquite, McKinney, San Antonio, Houston, Denton, Richardson, Allen, Frisco, Lewisville and Flower Mound, and the counties of Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton, Kaufman and Henderson, Texas; TX, North Texas, DFW. Because U.S. immigration laws are federal in scope, our immigration attorneys are able to represent individuals and companies in all 50 states of the United States of America.