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Will Monday be D-day for SB4?

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Migrants crossing the Rio Grande near razor wire
Operation Lone Star
Migrants crossing the Rio Grande near razor wire

Senate Bill 4 could go into effect on Monday at 4 p.m. if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn't step in.

Last week, the nation's high court extended a pause on the law from taking effect.

The law would give Texas law enforcement officers the authority to detain undocumented migrants based solely on their immigration status, a power that historically has fallen to the federal government.

It also creates a pathway for Texas to effectively deport those migrants.

Civil rights groups argue that SB 4 violates the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution and is preempted by federal law, as Texas judges would be required to order a person’s deportation regardless of whether a person is eligible to seek asylum or other humanitarian protections under federal law.

Advocates have warned that the law will separate families and directly lead to racial profiling, subjecting thousands of Black and Brown Texans to the state prison system, which is rife with civil rights abuses.

Republicans have praised the law as an answer to what they see as the failures of the Biden administration to meaningfully address immigration and border security.

Rebecca Lightsey is co-executive director of American Gateways

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org.

*This interview will be recorded on Monday, March 18, 2024.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi