Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

All treated equally? Not in Texas

Mariana Ramos

Senate Bill 4  is the unprecedented new law that gives power to the so-called “protectors” of America. Governor Greg Abbott, responsible for signing SB 4 in December, is someone who has everything and more, as he has repeatedly passed legislation to limit people’s rights. The law was scheduled to go into effect on March 5. It allows both state and local police forces to arrest and detain individuals whom they suspect of crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S. without any legal authority. 

This means that someone could be convicted of a criminal offense for appearing like an immigrant. Then, at court, one can be convicted and be charged with a Class B misdemeanor,  resulting in them carrying out a maximum sentencing of six months in prison. If the individual causes any issues, they can be charged with a second-degree felony, leading to 20 years in prison. This bill could extend to migrant families, leading to a whole family’s deportation rather than just the parents.

Despite the law’s passing, there was a fight for it to be withheld. The Justice Department and the Biden administration both requested it to be paused, as they deemed it unconstitutional. On Feb. 29, the bill was temporarily blocked by the U.S. District Judge David Ezra. The federal law had ordered that the law be paused right before the Supreme Court could allow it to go into effect. A New Orleans-based three-judge panel on the fifth U.S. The Circuit Court of Appeals made a 2-1 split decision, stating that the law should be blocked. However, the high court deemed otherwise, allowing for immigration policies to let SB 4 begin to take effect.

The fight to dissolve SB 4 as a whole does not end there. Lawsuits are being sent toward the bill. As one of many, The American Civil Liberties Union, along with the Texas Civil Rights project taking on behalf of the El Paso-based “Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center,” El Paso County and American Gateways filed against the Texas Department of Public Safety. A  separate lawsuit was filed by the U.S. The Department of Justice pleaded that if the law were to go into effect it would end a century and a half of work on immigration policies, specifically those that have been the worry of the federal government. The lawsuits were consolidated, but the fight from countless presidents themselves to Texas cities resisted the “law” of racial profiling and the stripping of basic human rights.

 SB 4 brings the disruption of foreign relations, disregarding both the federal enforcement efforts and federal agencies’ diligent work of security threats. More importantly, it destroys the souls of those who simply want a better life, but instead are being treated like aliens. This on-and-off battle of this law leaves one to wonder — why was it passed?

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About the Contributor
Mariana Ramos, Graphic Artist
Mariana (She/They) is a freshman Sociology major from Houston, and this is her second semester at The Paisano. Outside of the organization, you can usually find them starting a new book, studying history, or discovering new albums to listen to. She joined the Paisano to begin her journey as a digital artist and expand her creative abilities.

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    ATobiasMar 31, 2024 at 4:34 pm

    Why was it passed? Is that seriously a question? Try asking how many people have illegally crossed the border in 2023, how many were deported, how many since Biden took office, how do those numbers compare to averages? How many have serious criminal records? We have serious issues with our national security, and that’s just one of the many problems our nation is facing because of the open border fiasco. There are procedures to follow for legal immigration, and those who do so, are not in danger of deportation or incarceration by SB4.